Tamara Wilhelm plays ‘Mabel’ and Shane Hanson is ‘Frederic’ in the Chilliwack Opera Troupe’s presentation of Pirates of Penzance.

New opera troupe flies pirate flag

The brand-new Chilliwack Opera troupe presents its inaugural show this weekend, The Pirates of Penzance.

The brand-new Chilliwack Opera troupe is ready to present its inaugural show, The Pirates of Penzance.

The troupe is both pleased and proud to be offering the well-known comic opera Aug. 18-21 at the Cultural Centre, in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

The Pirates story follows Frederic who is finally about to be released from his long apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and it’s love at first sight. Frederic finds out he was born on a leap year and consequently must stay indentured to serve another 63 arduous years.

The dutiful Frederic’s only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him.

The new local opera troupe boasts 70 cast members, musicians, volunteers and staff.

“The troupe has an energy that has been going strong since its inception,” says co-founder Paula deWitt-Krause.

She along with her son, Bevin van Liempt, felt there was an obvious need to fill an operatic niche in town.

“The troupe is flourishing with talent!,” says DeWitt-Krause.

Brothers Lyndon and Forrest Schuster drive to each Chilliwack rehearsal from Abbotsford. They are both in the chorus of police and this is the teens’ first production.

Kevin Andrews is from a musical family, and plays flute and percussion in the orchestra. His wife, Deborah, co-produces and their two daughters Jessica, chorus and Becka, assistant stage manager are loving the chance to work together as a family, she says.

DeWiitt-Krause along with her two sons Bevin and Logan van Liempt are a few of the family ties in the group. Bevin, a co-founder, is also taking on the lead role, the Sergeant of Police, while Logan is in the chorus and plays the role of a pirate in the first half and policeman in the second.

Husband and wife team of Laura and Shaun Purves are members of the chorus. “After Laura successfully auditioned for the show she had no difficulty at all recruiting her husband, Shaun, when he heard of the opportunity to wear the Policeman’s uniform,” she says.

Director James McGroarty is no stranger to Gilbert and Sullivan.

“He graciously accepted the offer to direct this production and brought with him his lovely talented daughter, Kathleen, to the auditions,” she says.

Kathleen earned the role of Edith, while the seasoned and experienced Pauline, another daughter, came on board as a co-choreographer.

Barb Neeve is enjoying her first Gilbert and Sullivan show in the chorus of daughters, and her son is busy helping making sets.

“The group is such a pleasure to work,” says. DeWitt-Krause.

“We have a husband and wife in the orchestra as well.”

Professional flutist Bernard Blary and his French Horn playing wife drive in loyally from Vancouver for each rehearsal.

“The whole group feels like my family and I often tease that I want to adopt them all and take them home with me,” she adds.

Pirates of Penzance, at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, August 18-21, 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday afternoon show at 2 p.m. Tickets $30/$25/$20, Two for One Preview August 16 and 17, www.chilliwackcultu​ralcentre.ca or call 604-391-7469 or 604-795-0521 for all other inquiries, www.chilliwackoperatroupe.com

 

Just Posted

Train ride at Minter store not part of this year’s festive fun

Tough decision made to stop seasonal train in its tracks after injury suffered by Brian Minter

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Chilliwack students learn about business and charity during entrepreneurship fair

Mt. Slesse Grade 8 kids will be donating 20 per cent of their business profits to the food bank

Work wrapping up in Chilliwack on the Valley Rail Trail expansion

The trail is envisioned as the north-south spine of a future cycling network

Chilliwack saw sub-tropical blast of warm air Wednesday

It didn’t break any official records but it was warmer than usual by several degrees

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Deer carcasses don’t belong in green bins, says B.C. city

City of Nanaimo issues reminder to residents, saying fur isn’t compostable

B.C. couple helping wildfire evacuees in northern California

A planned holiday has turned into a humanitarian effort for a Penticton couple

Dead whale discovered on B.C. shore

The whale was discovered Friday morning near the BC Ferries terminal

‘This is gangster,’ bait car thief declares on video

Footage from Abbotsford gains attention on social media

Parents skeptical as Abbotsford school fills French immersion vacancy

School district says new teacher will start Dec. 1 closing vacancy currently filled by English teacher

B.C. to offer gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to B.C. goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Most Read