IndieFest | re:Naissance Opera Announces 2022 Lineup

By Chris Ruel

IndieFest, a musical gathering in its third year, will present everything from new opera to Indigenous practice to drag throughout its 11-day Festival in the Canadian Pacific Northwest. IndieFest will run November 16-27, 2022. The Festival highlights stories and people traditionally overlooked in the arts.

“The history of opera is steeped in colonial constructs that have excluded many histories, particularly those of BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities. By providing marginalized artists access to innovative spaces and emerging technology, we are empowering them to transcend old power structures that have held back their creative voices,” said Debi Wong, founder of re:Naissance Opera, in an official press statement.

Here’s what IndieFest has in store for Festival-goers. For this article, only vocal performances and events are listed.

The Festival starts with a double bill featuring “Inferno: a Hip Hop Opera Workshop” with Artist in Residence Omari Newton and “Live from the Underworld II: Eurydice’s Calling.” The presentation of “Live From the Underworld II” is the work’s first in-person performance. re:Naissance was nominated for a 2022 AUREA Award for “Eurydice Live from the Underworld,” a digital operatic experience.

Performance Date: Nov. 16, 2022

IndieArtist Cabaret will showcase dance, opera, drag, music, and theater.

Performance Date: Nov. 17, 2022

re:Naissance Opera and the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens will host an evening of music and art centered on transformations with Imaginarium Concert I: The Liminal, curated by multidisciplinary artist and Associate Artistic Director of re:Naissance Opera, Stephanie Wong.

Performance Date: Nov. 18, 2022

Indie pop beats, burlesque, and house music fill the program for Imaginarium Concert II: Groove. Multidisciplinary artist, and member of Tataskweyak Cree Nation Kelsey Kanatan Wavey, curated the program featuring local queer talent.

Performance Date: Nov. 19, 2022

Rocky Jones, Dawn Pemberton, and Morgan-Paige Melbourne are panelists for Holding Space, Giving Voice, and Uplifting Black Voices.

Performance Date: Nov. 19, 2022

Imaginarium Concert III: Indigenous Music + Salmon & Bannock Afternoon showcases music by local Indigenous artists along with canapés catered by Salmon & Bannock. The event is free to self-identified BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ Peoples. Gitxsan and Cree contemporary dance artist, Raven Grenier, curated the program.

Performance Date: Nov. 20, 2022

The Association for Opera in Canada will hold its Annual Summit, focusing on advancing the goals of AOC’s strategic plan.

Performance Date: Nov. 21-24, 2022

Musique3Femmes: SOLO is a double bill for solo unaccompanied voice, featuring Scottish composer Judith Weir’s “King Harald’s Saga” and Love Songs by JUNO-Award-winning composer Ana Sokolović.

Performance Date: Nov. 22-23, 2022

BIPOC Voices Director Rich Coburn curated Imaginarium Concert IV: BIPOC Voices, featuring vocal chamber music by nine BIPOC composers.

Performance Date: Nov. 23, 2022

Chinese-American composer Du Yun and Canadian librettist Royce Vavrek’s “Angel’s Bone” will receive its Canadian premiere in an all-Canadian production about two youths who are lured into exploitative relationships by their traffickers, Mr. & Mrs. XE.

Performance Date: Nov. 25-27, 2022

re:Naissance Opera produces modern-day operatic performances that represent and connect the diverse communities, people, storytelling media, and voices unique to its home city of Vancouver, BC. IndieFest shows the company’s investment in the community.