St. John’s College has always had a warm relationship with the UBC School of Music, having served as a home away from home for many music graduate students, as well as having collaborated with the School on several occasions to bring high-profile visiting artists to campus. That relationship was further solidified with the appointment of Nancy Hermiston, Head of the Voice and Opera Divisions at the UBC School of Music (and University Marshal) as a Faculty Fellow in 2011.
This summer, the close relationship continues in UBC Opera’s production of Bizet’s great opera Carmen. Not only is Nancy Hermiston directing the production, but SJC Junior Fellow Katie McCullough plays the role of Carmen’s friend Frasquita in the June 23rd, 27th, 29th performances. Katie, a Master’s student in the Opera program, says “I am so excited to be playing the gypsy Frasquita, in UBC Opera’s production of Carmen. Aside from the incredible music of Bizet, the story of Carmen is extremely captivating. Playing such a feisty character for the first time has been lots of fun. If you have never been to an opera, this is definitely one to see and for you ‘opera fanatics’ you know that one can never grow tired of seeing Carmen! Hope to see you there.”
Also joining this production as a member of the chorus is SJC Assistant Principal Sandra Shepard. Sandra, long time choral singer and member of the Vancouver Bach Choir (whose Music Director, Les Dala, is conducting this production) is making her first foray into opera. “I have been having so much fun in the rehearsals, developing my gypsy cigarette girl alter ego! It’s such a marvelous opportunity to be able to be part of this production. I’m grateful not only to Nancy who made this possible, but also to all the students in the Opera program who have been so welcoming.”
Bizet’s Carmen runs for six performances between June 22 and 30 at the UBC Old Auditorium; for more information, including tickets, visit http://www.music.ubc.ca/student-ensembles/opera.html.