Stickboy: From Page to Stage
Join us for an enlightening conversation about the process of transforming Stickboy, a book by world-renowned spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, into a contemporary opera.
James Wright, the General Director of Vancouver Opera, will talk to Koyczan and two of his collaborators, musical dramaturge and Conductor Leslie Dala and libretto dramaturge and Director Rachel Peake, about the unique process they undertook. For Koyczan, transforming his personal experience into an opera was an emotional challenge, “to see [my story] being acted out or become theatrical in some way is difficult, because these aren’t pages in a book, these are pages of my life.”
Koyczan and Vancouver Opera have created a beautifully poetic, visually innovative and musically memorable opera that highlights Koyczan's signature voice and confronts a society that struggles with fear and insecurity, and punishes those who are different. Stickboy: From Page to Stage also features two members of the ensemble performing a selection from the opera.
Tuesday, October 7th at 7:30pm
Frederic Wood Theatre
6354 Crescent Road, UBC
Tickets: $25 adults/ $23 Students & Seniors/$21 Bookclubs*
Phone: VancouverTix, 604-629-8849
Internationally recognized spoken word performer, author and librettist, Shane Koyczan has emerged in a new wave of twenty-first century poets. Widely viewed performances like his appearance at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics have resonated with young people around the world. In 2013 Koyczan, collaborated with Giant Ant studios and more than 80 animators to create the anti-bullying video To This Day, which has had over 13 million YouTube views. Koyczan performed a version of To This Day “For the Bullied and the Beautiful” at the 2013 International TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
James Wright, ICD.D has been the General Director of Vancouver Opera since 1999. During Mr. Wright’s tenure, the company presented the Canadian premiere of Nixon in China and the world premiere of Lillian Alling, and is noted for its First Nations-inspired Magic Flute. Vancouver Opera has also commissioned operas for young people, including Naomi’s Road about the Japanese Canadian internment during WWII, and has created award-winning community-engagement initiatives. Mr. Wright has served on the boards of OPERA America, Opera.ca and Imagine Canada. He is a past member of the Vancouver Foundation’s Advisory Panel for Arts and Culture and of the Vancouver City Planning Commission. In 2012, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service.
Leslie Dala, Vancouver Opera's Associate Conductor and Chorus Director, is the musical dramaturge for Stickboy. Mr. Dala is also the Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir and Music Director of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. He has worked at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Canadian Opera Company, the Santa Fe Opera and l’Opéra National du Rhin and is a frequent guest conductor with the UBC Opera Ensemble and Soundstreams Canada. Mr. Dala's upcoming engagements include a program of contemporary works for traditional Chinese and western instruments presented by Soundstreams Canada with performances in Toronto, Taipei and Beijing.
Award-winning stage director Rachel Peake is the libretto dramaturge for Stickboy and will direct the world premiere in 2014. Ms. Peake's recent directorial credits include Cool Beans for Solo Collective Theatre, Kayak for Alley Theatre, The Little Sweep for the Belfry Theatre/Pacific Opera Victoria and Revolution for Gros Morne Summer Music. In 2012 she received the Ray Michal Award for Outstanding Body of Work by an Emerging Director and the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Direction for Le portrait Gooble (Théâtre la Seizième). Ms. Peake was the co-Artistic Director of Solo Collective Theatre from 2008-2013 and is currently taking part in the Neil Munro Directing Internship at the Shaw Festival.
Stickboy is on stage at the Vancouver Playhouse from October 23 – November 7th, 2014.
Music composed by Neil Weisensel
Libretto by Shane Koyczan