Saturday night at the Opera: Naomi's Road at West Vancouver Public Library
I didn't attend the Saturday opening of Faust by the Vancouver Opera, but instead I went to see Naomi's Road
presented at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. Joy Kogawa and
Ellen Crowe-Swords had seen the spring touring production at the
Vancouver Academy of Music, and said that Gene Woo was really
good. Gene had workshopped the production along with Grace Chan,
but they weren't able to be part of the Vancouver Opera Touring
Ensemble for the fall of 2005.
It was a different setting set in the cramped atrium of the West
Vancouver Public Library. There were seats up on the catwalk
upstairs creating “opera balcony seats.” This was the third time
I watched Naomi's Road, and again I found myself moved to tears.
My original review
was written for the opening weekend on Sept 30/Oct 1, 2005.
Naomi's Road next plays in the public community, Saturday night, March
11th at the Japanese Language School as a benefit for Powell St.
Gene Woo does perform well, bringing a strong baritone voice for the
production, complimenting very well the voices of Jessica Cheung, Gina
Oh and Sam Chung.
After the production, Tamsin Baker of The Land Conservancy and I, stood
by the display of the Joy Kogawa novels, with pamphlets for the Save
Kogawa House campaign. There was some good interest as people
asked about both the house and the campaign. I shared some
insight on Joy Kogawa's thoughts about the house and the opera.
It was great to “bump”into friends Tony and Lori Breen, as well as
Donna Wong-Juliani. I asked Donna about growing up one of the few
Chinese families in West Vancouver during her childhood. We
discovered connections with the Shuens and the Cumyows, whom I had
grown up with in High School. Very interesting…
Afterwards, Tony and Lori took me to dinner with them at their favorite
Chinese restaurant in West Vancouver: VIP's Chinese Restaurant.
It had been Lori that had written to the Georgia Straight recommending
the restaurant. We had some of the house specialties… Roast
Duck with vinegar sauce, Oyster omelette and Prawns with rock
salt. Very good… I am going back with my parents.