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Edmonton Opera to Present Digital World Premieres Of Vivian Fung's GROVER AND FRIENDS and ALARM

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Grover and Friends and Alarm are two scenes based on Fung's family oral history that she gathered during the spring of 2021.

Edmonton Opera to Present Digital World Premieres Of Vivian Fung's GROVER AND FRIENDS and ALARM

On Friday, November 26, 2021 at 7:30pm MST, Edmonton Opera will present the digital world premieres of Canadian composer Vivian Fung's two operatic scenes, Grover and Friends and Alarm, as part of their Wild Rose Opera Project. The libretto is written by Royce Vavrek and Claire Friedrich serves as Stage Manager. The opera streams live on Edmonton Opera's Facebook and YouTube and will be available on demand on Edmonton Opera's website.

Starring soprano Xin Wang and percussionist Ryan Scott, Grover and Friends and Alarm are two scenes based on Fung's family oral history that she gathered during the spring of 2021. Fung explains, "My extended family - including my maternal grandmother, uncles, aunts, and cousins - lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in the 1970s as part of the overseas Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. They were there quite happily, in fact, until shortly before the Khmer Rouge stormed the capital in April 1975 and drove everyone out. My family miraculously survived an arduous journey - over a month on foot in the countryside of Cambodia, and then in Vietnam. Ultimately, they ended up in Paris and Canada, but those events changed the course of my family forever. I also was born in 1975, and even though I was born and raised in Canada, my birth and childhood were deeply affected by omnipresent anxiety and uncertainty over my family's situation and safety."

Fung describes how only recently she has been able to piece together more completely her family history and how it affected her family members' subsequent lives. She says, "I went to visit Cambodia for the first time in 2019 with my family - parents, son, and husband - and with some detective work, we were able to find my family's former home and the hospital that my aunt ran, still standing all these years later but now abandoned. I look forward to returning and to continuing to understand more about their past." Fung wants to thank Royce Vavrek for his wonderful text and intuitive grasp of what her family went through; and also her family for their contributions to the oral history and text.

Edmonton Opera's Wild Rose Opera Project is a series of four short operatic works that each explore mental health issues through characters with ties to the Alberta landscape. Librettist Royce Vavrek has collaborated with composers Ian Cusson, John Estacio, Vivian Fung, and Bryce Kulak to create short works that will be premiered online beginning November 19, 2021. The project is made possible through the generous support of EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund.

Performance Information


Grover and Friends and Alarm
Friday, November 26, 2021 at 7:30pm MST on Edmonton Opera's Facebook and YouTube
Free On Demand on Edmonton Opera's Website
More Information: https://www.edmontonopera.com/wild-rose-opera-project

VIVIAN FUNG: Grover and Friends and Alarm

Libretto by ROYCE VAVREK

Xin Wang, soprano
Ryan Scott, percussionist


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