Upcoming Events

Music in the Vineyard


On Sunday, August 13th, at 2:00 p.m., Opera Nanaimo will hold its first 2017 summer opera and musical theatre event, Voices in the Vineyard.

Voices in the Vineyard will be a wonderful garden party opportunity. It will take place outdoors on the patio of the beautiful Millstone Winery, 2300 Wellington Road E in Nanaimo.

The concert will feature selections from Canadian and European opera and musical theatre sung by local soloists and members of the Opera Nanaimo chorus.

Tickets are $25.00 ($20.00 for Opera Nanaimo members) and includes a fabulous selection of food appetizers. Children’s tickets are $10.00 for the first child and $5.00 for each additional child. Tickets may be purchased through the Port Theatre box office or at the door.

Wine will be available for purchase from the winery, and light snacks will be provided to guests thanks to the generosity of Thrifty Foods

Hansel and Gretel

Composed by Englebert Humperdinck  




The adventure story of two mischievous children who find delicious treats and also discover a dark secret in the woods.


This adaptation of the well known Grimm fairy tale has been a favourite opera since its premiere in 1893.  With delightful folk tunes and skilful orchestration, the tale explores universal themes of poverty, peril and bravery resulting in the triumph of good over evil and a happy ending for all.  Well except for the witch!!  Join Opera Nanaimo as it celebrates the richness of imagination and offers an insight into the fear and bravery of children all the while entwined in dreamy fairy-tale melodies. 

Musical Director: Carol Fetherston
Stage Director: Marilyn Kelly
Producer: Arlene Blundell

Meet the Cast & Crew!


Dates:      Friday, October 28th at 7:30 p.m. AND
                Saturday, October 29th at 2:00 p.m.


Where:    Nanaimo Ecumenical Centre
               6234 Spartan Rd, Nanaimo


Tickets:   $28 for adults and $5 for children 16 and under.
               Tickets may be purchased through the Port Theatre Box Office, 125 Front St, Nanaimo  
               250 754-8550 (+ applicable order fees)


PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY:  City of Nanaimo, Nanaimo News Bulletin



Join Us

Outrageous Passionate Exciting Rousing Awesome


 Intrigued? Interested in opera, musical theatre and the arts?

Volunteering with Opera Nanaimo may be for you.

Opera Nanaimo is seeking people for Board membership and for volunteers to guide and support our organization. We have need for people with experience in:

•  publicity & marketing

•  communications and social media

•  fund raising

•  volunteer coordination

•  educational program development

•  just doing it!

We are preparing for our 2015-2016 performance season. To join our non-profit society, please express your interest and send your qualifications to communications@operananaimo.ca.

So get ON it! We would love to hear from you. Opera – its not at all scary!

Hansel & Gretel Cast & Crew



kelseywheatleyKelsey Wheatley utilizes the combination of voice, movement, and acting into many vocal styles from gospel to classical. She has a Theater Arts diploma from Grant Mac Ewan University, a diploma in classical music studies from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and a BFA in vocal performance from the University of Victoria. Kelsey has performed in various opera productions with Pacific Opera Victoria including roles as the Ghost Women in Lucia di Lammermoor and Bianca in Otello. She also performed as the alto soloist in Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and in Durufle’s Requiem, as well as Mozart’s concert aria, Ch’io mi scordi di te? with the University of Victoria Orchestra. Other role highlights include Eponine in Les Miserables (2013) with Judy Russell Productions and Kristen in Captain Lovelock (2013) with the Victoria Conservatory of Music Opera Studio.



amystegglesAmy Steggles has sung in Germany, Italy and from coast to coast in Canada. Praised for her warm sound and powerfully expressive performance, notable roles include Fiordiligi from Così fan tutte, Norina from Don Pasquale, and Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro. A versatile performer, Amy is equally at home singing opera, operetta, oratorio and art song.  Amy is co-founder of Fear No Opera in Victoria.




skyedonaldVancouver Island born and raised, Errington coloratura soprano Skye Donald is a well-known local singer. Her rich, dramatic tone allows her to explore a wide range of roles. Some of her recent engagements include solo work for the Island Consort, Malaspina Choir, and the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra. Skye is pleased to be returning to Nanaimo Opera for their second production, Hansel and Gretel: she also played the role of the Mother in their 2015 production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.



neilreimerBaritone Neil Reimer is an accomplished performer with captivating stage presence and comedic flair. 

Neil is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Fear No Opera, Victoria’s opera company for emerging artists. He has performed with Opera Nuova, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, and Winnipeg’s Contemporary Opera Lab as well as chorus with Pacific Opera Victoria.  Neil completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice at the University of Victoria in 2007.  He studies with Kathleen Brett in Victoria and Roberta Cunningham in Berlin.

Neil’s opera credits include many lead roles in Fear No Opera. Neil has also played the Commandante in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with Pacific Opera Victoria.  He performed the role of Jim Wilson in the first-ever staging of scenes from Robert Wilson’s Canadian opera The Brideship with Winnipeg’s Contemporary Opera Lab. 



taliabowellTalia is thrilled to be a part of Hansel and Gretel!  While this is her first production with Opera Nanaimo, she has performed in several local musicals, competed vocally in the Upper Island Music festival and Nanaimo Teen Festival and won both but was unable to compete at the Provincial level. Last June, Talia had the opportunity to play Mary Poppins through her high school, John Barsby’s amazing theatre program. She also made a Christmas CD called Christmas is Calling.  This year she is in grade 10 and involved in school leadership and theatre.  Talia has studied voice with Christine McMahon and currently studies with Donna Falconer of Long Lake Studios.  She is honoured to play the Dew Fairy and hopes you enjoy the show!



karenhuntersandmanKaren comes to the world of singing and opera only recently after a history of performance and teaching in contemporary dance. She was awarded the 2015 Royal Conservatory of Music BC Gold Medal, Level 5, and currently studies with Sharon Wishart in Nanaimo. Karen sings with two local choirs: Island Bel Canto Singers and Vancouver Island Symphony Choir, and was part of the chorus in Opera Nanaimo’s 2016 production of Ahmal and the Night Visitors. She is very excited to be part of the Hansel and Gretel cast and crew!



breehortonMezzo Soprano Bree Horton is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Jane Eaglen. While there she performed the role of Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring by Britten and in scenes from the Magic Flute by Mozart. Other roles include Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte (Halifax Summer Opera Festival), Miss Todd in the Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti (Fear No Opera), and Flora from The Turn of the Screw by Britten (Baldwin Wallace University.




marilynkellyAfter studying voice at Ottawa University, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and in New York, and in directing at the Royal National Theatre, London, England, Mari Lyn has performed many roles behind and in front of the curtain in theatre, opera and operetta from community through to the professional stage.  As a professional actor/singer and director she has created and directed productions of Gilbert & Sullivan, Musical Theatre and Drama with performers of all ages in the Ottawa area as well as being the Assistant Director for Opera Lyra Ottawa’s productions of Hansel & Gretel.   She brings all of these skills now to Nanaimo area audiences and directed last season’s Opera Nanaimo’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.   She has performed in Qualicum Beach and recently in the Vagina Monologues in Port Alberni.   She balances her theatre hat with that of being a Practical Nurse Instructor for Discovery Community College.



carol fetherstonCarol obtained a B.Music from U.B.C. and sang for a number of years with the Vancouver Opera Association as well as obtaining an A.R.C.T. in piano.  She was accepted into the Opera School at the University of Toronto and continued to study voice there with several prominent coaches and took lead roles in several operas.  While working as a choral director for the Toronto Board of Education, Carol obtained her M.Music from U of T and studied vocal pedagogy and choral conducting as well as working with the Elmer Eisler Singers, the choir-in-residence at the University. Since moving to Vancouver Island, Carol has performed as a soloist with the Malaspina Singers, Parksville Community Choir and the Cowichan Consort.  She was the musical director/conductor for Opera Nanaimo’s last production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.   Carol continues to conduct Vocal Workshops with choirs, as well as an Opera Workshop for Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.



youth_choir1000x482Alaria Lessard Northrup, Andrea Stachow, Domenic Skelcher, Ella Hannesson, Katrin Hannesson, Laura Hansen, Skyla Thomas, Sophia Fan, Taryn Pistor, Zoe Oshun-Hyman, Katharina Toft, Julianna Toft, Cora Wessler, Emma Britton, Annabelle Bentley with Music Director – Marian Smith






A musical fund raiser for Opera Nanaimo
After a successful season culminating in our acclaimed performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors last Christmas, ON is presenting our 2016 spring fundraiser courtesy of BMW Nanaimo.
This event will feature some of the best vocal talent from the mid-island region. Some of these performers will become star entertainers for Opera Nanaimo and elsewhere.
When:              Sunday 1st May starting at 2:00 pm
Where:             BMW Nanaimo
                        2470 Kenworth Road, Nanaimo
Admission:      by donation
Parking:           available on Kenworth Road
Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and canapes will be provided, thanks to Thrifty Foods, AND there will be an opportunity to meet the performers after the concert.
Funds raised will support the work of Opera Nanaimo who is dedicated to bringing quality Opera entertainment to your community.
Open your hearts to these aspiring young performers and show your support for their future by supporting Opera Nanaimo. Help make opera once again part of Nanaimo’s rich cultural history as we revitalize the enthusiasm of our forebears for Opera in the community which began over a century ago with the construction of the Opera House on Commercial Street.
Opera Nanaimo is supported by Cultural Heritage funding from the City of Nanaimo

Winter 2016

Having successfully produced and presented the wonderful one act opera Amahl & the Night Visitors by Carl Menotti, Opera Nanaimo is looking forward to the forthcoming winter / spring season.   Keeping to the vision and mandate of ON, Amahl was cast with professional local talent for the lead roles and was fortunate to discover the impressive young boy soprano voice of Jack Mace to sing the role of Amahl.  Drawing on local talent, as well as inviting students of the Opera Workshop class at the Conservatory of Music of Nanaimo to participate made the chorus of shepherds and shepherdesses a delight to hear and watch.  Opera Nanaimo is proud that this production was so well received by audiences. 


Turning their attention to the winter / spring season the ON board is pleased to present another “JAM” afternoon of opera selections sung by local talent and partnered with a silent auction that is sure to entice people to dip into their pockets to purchase the wealth of items to be auctioned.  This is a great way for audiences to hear a little opera, enjoy a small repast and bid on donated auction items.  Watch for details coming soon. 


Opera Nanaimo  continues to pursue opportunities to bring opera to the Nanaimo community so stay tuned to be the first to know what is coming next. 


Mari Lyn Kelly

President, Opera Nanaimo Board

Amahl and the Night Visitors

By arrangement with Schirmer Inc. publisher

by Gian Carlo Menotti

Amahl and the Night Visitors, the joyful one act opera composed in 1951 by Gian Carlo Menotti is coming to Nanaimo!  Opera Nanaimo is pleased to announce that this beloved holiday season opera sung in English will be the company’s first fully in-house produced opera.  Keeping with the mandate of Opera Nanaimo, the principal professional cast hails from BC and the chorus will be local singers and dancers from the Nanaimo area. 

Amahl and the Night Visitors was the first opera ever to be shown on television. Composer Menotti directing the first production himself stated the  inspiration came to him from a picture of the “ The Adoration of the Magi” by the artist Hieronymus Bosch hanging at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Menotti wrote the opera especially for children as he tried to capture his own childhood dream of “seeing the three wise men” on their way to bring gifts to the Christ child in Bethlehem.   In Europe the tradition was that the Magi brought gifts to children but they were always unseen. This tradition is echoed today in North America as Santa Claus arrives secretly in the night to young ones here. 

Amahl is a story of a young boy growing up. While capturing the enchantment and magic of the holiday season it also tells of the relationship between a young boy and his mother. 

Wonderful music, dancing and singing by a shepherd’s chorus, magic and humour from the Kings and a lovable boy standing by his mother’s side as she fights poverty makes for an enjoyable holiday season’s entertainment for the entire family.  Join Opera Nanaimo in celebrating the holiday season by attending Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Ecumenical Church of Nanaimo on Dec. 29th, and 30th with a 7:30 p.m. curtain time.  Tickets are available now in good time for holiday season gift giving from the Port Theatre. 

Read synopsis

Two performances only: December 29 & 30, 2015 7:30 pm

Ecumenical Centre, 6234 Spartan Rd, Nanaimo (off Metral drive)

Lots of free parking on-site





Our 2015-2016 program will be announced soon. Watch for details.


People with management expertise in publicity & marketing, communications

& social media, volunteer co-ordination, educational program development.

Experience with non-profits will be an asset. To join our team, send your qualifications to communications@operananaimo.ca