Michelle Koebke and Jacob Doherty are featured in the Mozart Opera Project on Sept. 22 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Michelle Koebke and Jacob Doherty are featured in the Mozart Opera Project on Sept. 22 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Mozart the inspiration of Chilliwack opera project

Michelle Koebke and Jacob Doherty, and former Chilliwack resident Andrea Mellis are the soloists in the Mozart Opera Project

Chilliwack Opera Troupe and the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra are joining forces to present, Mozart Opera Project, Sept. 22 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

The concert will feature Mozart aria selections from a duet, a trio and the entire chorus.

The CSO will accompany an array of guest artists.

It’s the local troupe’s second operatic production, after last year’s The Pirates of Penzance.

“We called it a project because it’s essentially a musical experiment that will better acquaint Chilliwack with the classical voice,” says Music Director Paula DeWit.

There’s a wealth of talent being brought to the Cultural Centre stage, with 20 singers, 15 musicians, three soloists, two cameos.

“Everyone has such an excellent and supportive attitude,” DeWit says. “The soloists wanted in from day one.”

The stellar talent of husband-and-wife team, Michelle Koebke and Jacob Doherty, as well as former Chilliwack resident Andrea Mellis are the soloists in the spotlight next Saturday night.

Local singers, Bevin van Liempt and Lars Klotz also have cameos.

Rehearsals have been intense. No over-the-top costuming or staging is going into it, just some special lighting and ethereal voices.

“Some wonderful blending is also starting to happen, because we know each other well and they know the music.”

Of course Mozart’s overtures have their own distinct flavour, the director says.

“There’s always anticipation for the sound of the two horns.

“I would say this program is not really romantic music, but it’s a little lighter than some pieces. It may be more accessible to the neophyte.”

Mozart Opera Project will not be a full-scale opera production either however, because the fledgling opera troupe does not have the required level of financial support for that quite yet.

“But we decided to push ahead and put on this beautiful concert of Mozart excerpts.

Her fondest hope?

“We hope it sells out and that people love it!”

Mozart Opera Project, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. Cultural Centre, $25/$15 students, 604-391-7469. chilliwackoperatroupe.com or chilliwacksymphony.com

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