Spotlight on Cox & Palmer and Opera on the Avalon (“As One”)

Andrew Love and Tara Curtis as “Hannah” in Opera on the Avalon’s “As One.” Costumes designed by Keith Roberts, film by Kimberly Reed and lighting design by Mara Bredovskis. Photo: Amanda Best Photography 2018

A great piece of art incorporates a variety of voices and experiences and gives us a peek inside the heads of others. A great piece of art challenges our views and preconceptions, and engages and invites us to empathize and see the world from a different perspective. Opera on the Avalon’s latest production does all of these things.

“As One” is a chamber opera that tells the story of a sole transgender protagonist using two distinct voices – “Hannah after” (Tara Curtis, mezzo-soprano) and “Hannah before” (Andrew Love, baritone). The moving tale unfolds through 15 songs spread over three parts, with musicians Georgia Vogeli, Carole Bestvater, Chantelle Jubenville and Benjamin Louwersheimer carrying the narrative along.

Photo: Amanda Best Photography 2018

Produced in partnership with the Arts and Culture Centres and For the Love of Learning, and sponsored by Cox & Palmer, it’s clear the show is making its mark. With audience members calling it “amazing,” “inspired” and “fulfilling,” Opera on the Avalon, on the heels of its cross-island tour, says it has also had a positive impact on the students of Newfoundland.

These performances mark the opera’s Canadian premiere and this evening (June 5), the show comes to the D.F. Cook Recital Hall at the MUN School of Music. Paul McDonald, partner at Cox & Palmer, says it’s a production they’re proud to support.

“Opera on the Avalon has done a tremendous job marrying the art of opera with local stories and content. For instance, the production of ‘Ours’ commemorated the 100th anniversary of Beaumont-Hamel, and its current partnership with For the Love of Learning showcases the faces of local transgender individuals. By shining a spotlight on local stories and local people, Opera on the Avalon is helping to engage a wider audience in an art form that they may not have experienced otherwise,” he says.

“As proud members of Pride at Work Canada, and the Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Network, Cox & Palmer strongly believes in the importance of sharing this production with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Opera on the Avalon is achieving great things – both on-stage and off-stage. We’re delighted to support them along the way.”

Photo: Amanda Best Photography 2018

Since the beginning of their partnership in 2011 (through their BRAVO! Supporting the Arts program), Cox & Palmer has sponsored and helped promote a number of Opera on the Avalon’s events and productions among their internal and external audiences, McDonald says.

“Since our partnership began, the firm has welcomed approximately 600 guests to the opera.”

McDonald says while they support a range of arts and cultural organizations in the province, “the shared audience experience offered through the performing arts is especially noteworthy.”

“From beginning to end, the performers skillfully guide the audience through a range of emotions that can stick with them for long after the curtains close. It’s a powerful, inspiring, and memorable form of storytelling that further demonstrates the vibrant talent and culture in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he says.

If the initial reviews are any indication, “As One” will stay with audience members long after they’ve left the hall.

For more information or to purchase tickets to “As One,” click here.