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Pacific Opera Victoria, Victoria Symphony collaborate for free online performances

Britten’s Phaedra and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings streaming June 10 and 11
The Victoria Symphony Orchestra, shown here in a past concert at the University of Victoria, and Pacific Opera Victoria are teaming up for performances June 10 and 11. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria are joining in a collaborative presentation of Benjamin Britten’s Phaedra and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings in semi-staged performances June 10 and 11, respectively.

For the online events, Maestro Timothy Vernon will conduct vocalists Allyson McHardy (mezzo-soprano) and Colin Ainsworth (tenor) along with symphony principal horn Alana Despins and other accompanying musicians.

“When planning our respective virtual seasons, the symphony and opera thought it was vital that we include an opportunity to continue our inspiring and long-standing partnership,” said symphony CEO Matthew White.

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“We love working together and are really proud of the quality of performance we have always been able to achieve when we join forces. We’re certain our audiences will be impressed with both the production values as well as the outstanding performances.”

The symphony describes Britten’s final vocal work, Phaedra, as a “tragic hero’s journey through blame and lust on her tempestuous search for serenity,” with the emotional range of a full-scale opera in 15 minutes.

Both will be streamed free and be available for 30 days, through The performances begin at 7:30 p.m., each night. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

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