In honour of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, UBC Opera will stage an ambitious production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell. The opera will run alongside a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary symposium on “War-Related Trauma Stress Injuries: Lessons Learned Across Time” organized in conjunction with the Faculty of Education and the Veterans Transition Program.


ABOUT THE OPERA

SILENT NIGHT
MUSIC BY KEVIN PUTS

LIBRETTO BY MARK CAMPBELL

ROBERT WOOD, CONDUCTOR
NANCY HERMISTON, DIRECTOR
MEMBERS OF VANCOUVER OPERA ORCHESTRA

Silent Night, based on the screenplay by Christian Carion for the motion picture Joyeux Noël, produced by Nord-Ouest Production by arrangement with Aperto Press, publisher
Bill Holab Music: Sole Agent
Commissioned by Minnesota Opera
A Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative Production

The 2012 Pulitzer Prize award-winning opera Silent Night recounts the remarkable true story of the 1914 Christmas Truce: a spontaneous cease-fire experienced by Scottish, French, and German soldiers during World War I. We are honoured to have members of the Canadian Armed Forces with us in the production.

Silent Night begins at a Berlin opera house where singers Nikolaus
Sprink and Anna Sørenson are performing. Suddenly the performance is interrupted and it is announced that Germany is at war. Their lives are changed forever as Nikolaus is conscripted to war and must leave Anna behind. While the opera centres around Anna and Nikolaus’ love for each other we also follow storylines from each of the nations at war. Scottish brothers, William and Jonathan Dale, and their priest, Father Palmer, are dragged from their daily pursuits and suffer great loss. Meanwhile, in Paris, Lieutenant Audebert leaves behind his wife Madeleine, who is pregnant with their first child. The action moves to the battlefield in Belgium and by December, the casualties have mounted. As Christmas Eve falls Anna and Nikolaus are reunited when they are asked to perform at a concert for the Crown Prince and she accompanies him back to the trenches. Soldiers in the French, German, and Scottish bunkers begin recalling songs of home, stepping into no-man’s-land for a spontaneous truce. Once sworn enemies, they trade their weapons for merriment and camaraderie – resulting in one miraculous night of peace. Father Palmer celebrates mass and urges the men to “go in peace”. Following the cease-fire, word reaches headquarters where the generals react in anger and disbelief. They each declare the soldiers will be punished for fraternizing with the enemy. The Scottish soldiers are sent to the front lines, Audebert is transferred to Verdun with his unit disbanded, and the Germans are sent to Pomerania. As the soldiers leave they hum the Scottish ballad they heard on Christmas Eve. The battlefield stands empty and snow begins to fall once again. A plea for peace and a powerful examination of national and familial loyalty, amidst the futility of war.

ABOUT ROBERT WOOD, CONDUCTOR

Conductor Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009. Under his guidance, the company has achieved national recognition as an innovator in the field of opera, and has given over 70 performances in Arlingon, DC, and New York City. He has conducted UrbanArias’ productions of After Life/ Josephine (Cipullo), As One (Kaminsky), Blue Viola (Hilliard), Glory Denied (Cipullo), Before Breakfast (Pasatieri), 

The Filthy Habit (Hilliard), Photo-Op (Cummings), Paul’s Case (Spears), and Three Decembers (Heggie) to great acclaim. Maestro Wood made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2004 with Verdi’s La Traviata. He recently conducted Three Decembers at Kentucky Opera, Die Fledermaus at Hawaii Opera Theatre, and Roméo et Juliette and Carmen at Opera Colorado. Guest appearances for the 2017-2018 season include leading As One at Hawaii Opera Theatre and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Mr. Wood was appointed Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera from 2006-2008, leading productions of L’italiana in Algeri, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, Rusalka, and, most recently, Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Wood has also conducted concerts at San Francisco Opera featuring Stephanie Blythe and Lawrence Brownlee, and with the Merola Opera Program’s young artists. Additionally, he conducted L’italiana in Algeri at Vancouver Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Hawaii Opera Theatre, The Love for Three Oranges at Indiana University Opera Theater, La Cenerentola at New Jersey Opera Theater, Lakmé at Minnesota Opera, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Wood’s collaborations with the Wolf Trap Opera Company include Le Comte Ory and Die Zauberflöte. Other conducting engagements include H.M.S. Pinafore with the Indiana University Opera, and a recording for ODC Dance in San Francisco of Jack Perla’s On a Train Headed South.

Important note re: parking on Sunday Nov. 4: The Fall Classic marathon is taking place on Sunday Nov. 4 on the UBC Campus. There will be several road closures. Roads should be opened after 12:30 pm and opera patrons will be able to access Old Auditorium. More information

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM

War-Related Trauma Stress Injuries: Lessons Learned Across Time runs from Nov. 5 – 8 in the Old Auditorium Theatre at UBC. Featuring a number of special guests, including Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire, the symposium includes talks on:

  • The Veterans Transition Network

  • WWI - Canada Comes of Age

  • Lessons learned from WWI

  • The Healing Arts: The role of aesthetic encounters in understanding & addressing our complex relationship with war

  • They Served Without Citizenship: The contributions of First Nations in the Canadian Forces during WWI, WWII and in the present day Wartime Sexual Violence: Experiences of Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Freddy Lee - The Unknown Chinese soldier

All events take place in the Old Auditorium. Admission is free. To reserve free tickets for Nov. 8, visit ubcoperatickets.com or call 604-822-6725.


FULL SCHEDULE

Mon Nov 5

6:00 pm – 6:20 pm

“Overview of the Veterans Transition Program: What Is it? How Does it Work and Research Outcomes”

Dr. Marv Westwood; Dr. Bill Borgen, UBC Centre for Group Counselling and Trauma

6:40 pm – 7:00 pm

“Trauma Theory: History and Summary of Psychological-Based War Trauma”

Dr. Marla Buchanan, Counselling Psychology, UBC

7:00 pm – 7:20 pm

“The Veteran’s Personal Experience of the Injury and Recovery Process”

Major (Rev.) Jim Short; Sergeant Steve Clews (Nov 5)

Sergeant Jason Lozon (Nov 6)

7:20 pm – 8:00 pm

Invited Panel Comments:

Dr. George Belliveau, UBC Education; Major Jim Barret; Dr. Eli Puterman, UBC Kinesiology


Tuesday, Nov. 6th

6:00 pm – 6:20 pm

“Overview of the Veterans Transition Program: What Is it? How Does it Work and Research Outcomes”

Dr. Marv Westwood; Dr. Bill Borgen, UBC Centre for Group Counselling and Trauma

6:40 pm – 7:00 pm

“Trauma Theory: History and Summary of Psychological-Based War Trauma”

Dr. Marla Buchanan, Counselling Psychology, UBC

7:00 pm – 7:20 pm

“The Veteran’s Personal Experience of the Injury and Recovery Process”

Major (Rev.) Jim Short; Sergeant Steve Clews (Nov 5)

Sergeant Jason Lozon (Nov 6)

7:20 pm – 8:00 pm

Invited Panel Comments:

Dr. George Belliveau, UBC Education; Major Jim Barret; Dr. Eli Puterman, UBC Kinesiology


Wednesday, Nov 7th

6:00 pm – 6:20 pm

“WWI – Canada Comes of Age; Lessons Learned” Prof. Wade Davis, Anthropology

6:20 pm – 6:40 pm

“They Served without Citizenship: The Contributions of First Nations in the Canadian Forces during WWI, WWII and the Present Day”

Prof. Em Richard Vedan, Social Work

6:40 pm – 7:00 pm

“Finding Freddy Lee: The forgotten soldier of the forgotten Battle of Hill 70”

Mr. Jack Gin, Entrepreneur, Engineer, Historian

7:00 pm – 7:20 pm

“The Healing Arts? The role of aesthetic encounters in understanding & addressing our complex relationship with war”

Prof. Jenny Peterson, Political Science

7:20 pm – 7:40 pm

“Wartime Sexual Violence: Experiences of Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Mia Sidran, Ph.D. Candidate University of Jaume I in Spain

7:40 pm – 8:30 pm

Panel discussion and Questions from the Audience


Thursday, Nov. 8th

5:30 pm – 6:10 pm

Special guest speaker: Lieutenant-General, the Honorable Romeo Dallaire (Ret’d)

6:10 pm – 6:30 pm

Questions from Audience

7:30 pm

Performance of Silent Night (Purchase opera tickets here)

Symposium Coordinators: Prof. Nancy Hermiston; Dr. Marvin Westwood and Corporal Tim Laidler (Executive Director, Centre for Group Counselling and Trauma)


Banner illustration: Roan Shankaruk

 
 

EVENT DETAILS

An opera in two acts sung in English, French, German, Italian, and Latin with English surtitles
 

WHEN & WHERE
Opera:
Nov 3, 8 & 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Nov 4 at 2 p.m.

Symposium:
Nov. 5, 6, 7 & 8
See schedule below for times

Old Auditorium
6344 Memorial Road
UBC Campus
Map
 

TICKETS
Online
604-822-6725
In Person
UBC Opera Box Office