New life, new growth, new hope for the Vancouver Opera
It was out with the old and in with the new this weekend at Vancouver Opera’s costume and prop sale.
For locals eager to celebrate Halloween after last year’s COVID-induced hiatus — yes, there will be trick or treating this year — the sale was an opportunity to get creative with corsets, feather boas and red velvet robes.
For 12-year-old Alec Hughes, it was a chance to dive into a sea of fabrics to select a blue chambray to make Halloween bags out with his sewing club.
For treasure hunters there were candelabras, faux foods, taxidermy, a barber’s chair and shoes, from ruby slippers to pointy-toed boots that were once worn in a production of La Bohème.
New life, new growth, new hope were the themes of the day for Vancouver Opera’s technical director Autumn Coppaway.
“COVID was really hard on our industry,” said Coppaway. The Opera’s stages went dark in March 2020 when public heath orders banned indoor gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus. Dozens of technicians, costume designers and artists were put out of work.
“We discovered that sometimes the show doesn’t go on,” said Coppaway. But in a way, the show did go on. “The community pulled together to support each other.”
While theatres were dark, Vancouver Opera pivoted to digital productions, and turned their costume shop into a mask factory, using fabric from their workshops to produce triple layer masks that were donated to front line workers.