“The ambitions of Canadian independent opera companies vary widely. The bluecollar city of Nanaimo just saw its first-ever full production, with piano, of a classic opera (Bohéme) in November. Carol Fetherston, a retiree who was nudged into starting Nanaimo Opera in 2013, ultimately envisions her company performing at the in-demand, 800-seat Port Theatre, which is still out of her price range. Since Vancouver Island Opera’s demise, Nanaimo’s is the only opera company in the ever-growing mid-Vancouver Island region, and Fetherston’s hope is that her own commitment will spark audience growth among a burgeoning island retiree population and some tangible enthusiasm from prospective local sponsors.”
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