When you think of opera, most people imagine a majestic theater filled with people dressed in fancy clothes and dramatic musical performances, but a group of music students want to change that and make it a much more accessible experience.
Can of Soup Collective is a non-profit organization founded by three graduate students from Western University who try to create professional opportunities for other young and emerging artists in the city, while making opera more “consumable” for the general public.
“We think London is sort of short of professional opera opportunities,” said Mabel Wonnacott, the group’s creative director and Western master’s student. “We basically have opera happening at the university, but outside of that there just aren’t a lot of opera productions in London.”
“Our goal is to make opera accessible and to create a better relationship between London audiences and classical music, so we are going to offer operas that are not pretentious, but rather relatable.”
Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, the band will do just that by hosting their Music in the Park event. About ten local musicians will be scattered around the park and will play different genres, from folk to opera. These performances will be followed by a full staging of Aunt Helene at the bandshell.
“Rather than feeling like you have to get dressed and that is something to be prepared for, it will be available to people who walk their dogs, who ride bikes … There will be fewer obstacles. to consumer opera, âWonnacott said.
“Aunt Helene is peppered with Canadian folk songs, things I’m sure people will connect with and recognize from their childhoodâ¦ It’s consumable and relatable, rather than being big and intimidating. “
Being relatively new to the city, Wonnacott said it took her time and research to discover the city’s creative arts.
âI think a lot of the arts are sort of contained in their own bubble and so I think an important and important part of making these things more popular or more common in London is just the visibility. people that this is a very accessible thing. ”
Wonnacott said that at the moment Can of Soup Collective is operating on a voluntary basis, but the hope is to raise funds to create paid opportunities for opera artists.
“I think the music, especially the opera which is this fusion of all art forms – we have the visual aspect, the theatrical aspect, the music, the wonderful libretto – I think it’s a wonderful kind of vessel for us to explore the human condition and there is no better time than now to share that. “
Events to come:
Music in the Park: August 28, 2021. 1 to 5 p.m. at Springbank Park
Music at the Museum: Sept. 18-19 Virtual event
Here is an excerpt from Ellita Gagner from Can of Soup Collective singing What are you doing, Blanche Tourterelle?