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“Vancouver Song” co-creator Cassie Chang will bring An Operatic Affair to UBC’s Old Auditorium

Cassie Chang 2
Last June, Cassie Chang debuted An Operatic Affair at the Lincoln Center in New York.

A graduate from UBC’s opera-performance program will return to perform on the Point Grey campus in the first week of the New Year. Soprano Cassie Chang will sing opera arias and excerpts in a January 7 recital performance with a pianist at the 522-seat Old Auditorium (6344 Memorial Road). Also called the “Old Aud”, this concert hall features gothic architecture and outstanding acoustics.

According to the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts website, Chang will sing opera winter favourites by Puccini and Verdi. The Old Auditorium event is called An Operatic Affair and will include young Vancouver artists Indra Egan, Jeremy Scinocca, Taryn Plater, and Matthew Kim. It’s modelled on Chang’s event by the same name, which she debuted at the Lincoln Center in New York on June 16, 2022.

After completing a bachelor of music at UBC in 2020, Chang moved to New York, where she earned a master’s degree in music in 2022 from the Manhattan School of Music. She specialized in classical voice under the tutelage of American operatic soprano Catherine Malfitano. Chang later worked on contract for New York’s Harmony Program, teaching music to first graders in Chinatown and Queens.

In 2020, Chang won a High Distinction Award at the Vienna International Competition. In addition to singing in Vancouver and New York, she has performed in Beijing and the Bavarian town of Bayreuth.

Chang Old Auditorium
UBC’s Old Auditorium is a refurbished concert hall with outstanding acoustics.

Chang celebrates three major cities

Last year, Chang recorded “Vancouver Song” with pianist Juan Lazaro on the Internalized Globalization album. Chang wrote the text and Pouria Khadem composed the music for “Vancouver Song” and the two other tracks, “Beijing Song” and “New York Song”.

Chang is fluently bilingual in English and Mandarin and has full working proficiency in German, according to her Linkedin profile. She dedicated “Vancouver Song” to her friend Chelsea Gladstone “for her Indigenous inspiration and friendship”. Chang noted on YouTube that the song revolves around the beautiful landscape of Vancouver and her childhood memories.

Listen to “Vancouver Song” and read the text below.

Vancouver Song

The smell of cedar fills the air,

Soft in the rain like perfume that covers you.

 

Another dreary day I walk along the trails.

Squirrels, that pass me with pine cones in their arms

 

Deeper, in the forest, we go, we go,

a few miles down, the water is cold.

Along the trails, you hear the seagull song, geese you may find join along!

 

A small child picks up a seashell.

Suddenly, I remember, I had a collection too.. and one that was perfect and pink.

 

When I arrive, I stare at the jade green statue

Where are they traveling to?

What tales do these animals tell?

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii

 

Miss, which airline are you looking for?

Cassie Chang will perform in An Operatic Affair at UBC’s Old Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Sunday (January 7). Tickets are available here. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.