University of British Columbia

Article excerpt

University of British Columbia's Old Auditorium (built in the early 1920s) gleamed after its recently finished transformation from a fusty building to a glamorous state-of-the-art opera house, and on June 19 showcased its inaugural production, Mozart's Die Zauberflote.

The intimate, 530-scat auditorium now has a proscenium arch, curtains, flies and a hydraulically adjustable orchestra pit, which will allow UBC Opera Ensemble Director Nancy Hermiston to stage operas in a traditional manner.

Music Director Richard Epp prepared students for the leadership of conductor Dwight Bennett, who demanded a disciplined orchestral base for a cast of 38 principal singers, a chorus of 36 (many doubling principal parts) and the UBC Symphony Orchestra of 23 musicians.

Establishing a tone of focused dedication, tenor Adrian Glaubert's Tamino displayed a strong voice, sensitively shaped projection and good movement. He was a perfect foil for soprano Rachel Fenlon's delicately portrayed Pamina. This young artist's vocal skills should take her anywhere she wants to go. …