Pauline at the Pantages

15 October 2008

Dear Friends:

A quick progress report on ‘Pauline’, the chamber opera City Opera Vancouver has commissioned for the great Judith Forst. It is set at Vancouver in March of 1913, in the last week in the life of Pauline Johnson.

The libretto is by Margaret Atwood, and the music by Christos Hatzis. It is a first for both.

   1. Met this morning with Margaret – please enjoy photo Attached! She has proposed the first table read be done at Toronto in January 2009. I agreed.

   2. Christos and Judi will be meeting in Vancouver this weekend (for the second time – see other photo!) to perfect her part, and continue creating ‘Pauline’ as a long-overdue signature piece for one of our country’s greatest artists.

   3. ‘Pauline’ will be recorded and released on the new series ‘Canadian Classics’, which City Opera is producing for Naxos, the world’s largest classical recording organization.

   4. It is designed for small forces, and thus able to be produced anywhere in Canada. We have to date received five Letters of Intent from other companies who wish to consider it for production after its premiere in Vancouver.

   5. That premiere will be given at the restored Pantages Theatre in the Downtown Eastside, if we are able to earn the full support of City Council. We certainly have it from our neighbours, and from the the arts community here and across the country. Response to its formal announcement in February was astonishing.

   6. No wonder. All wonder.

Best, and thanks,


Dr Charles Barber (MA, DMA Stanford)
Artistic Director
City Opera Vancouver