MELANIE MINTY: ‘Surrey Sings!’ this Saturday night, and ‘Robinson Crusoe’ opera in Newton

No doubt, song and spring are now synonymous in Surrey

First Capital Chorus performs at this year’s Surrey Sings! concert

SURREY — Song is in the air. Spring, of course, is definitely in the air as well. There is soooo much pollen in the air, so there is visible tangible evidence that the air around us is filled with Spring. Song is a bit more difficult to observe, but Spring in Surrey means a Surrey Sings! presentation and a production from the Young People’s Opera Society of BC. So, song and spring are now synonymous in Surrey. And there you have it.

Surrey Sings!, a celebration of choral excellence in Surrey, had a hiatus for a few years while the organizers regrouped and reorganized. Odd, how it is always the same people who dedicate heart soul, body, mind, time and talent for these projects. Thank you Maxine Howchin, Patricia Dahlquist, Carol Pool and Lyn Lay for reviving Surrey Sings! and forming the Surrey Sings! Festival Committee. And thanks to the Arts Council of Surrey and the City of Surrey for their support and funding.

This year Surrey Sings! is on Saturday, April 9, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Chandos Pattison Auditorium (10238  168th St., Surrey). That is the beautiful theatre facility at Pacific Academy. They are reluctant to rent this theatre to “outsiders,” so I do consider it an honour and privilege for them to make the space available to Surrey Sings! – more thanks. This magnificent setting can seat more than 1,000 people, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a capacity crowd? Tickets are only $10 (plus service charge) at, and also at the door. Good parking is available, so there’s no reason to stay at home.

Past presentations of Surrey Sings! have featured our very fine youth choirs. This year we are treated to mostly adult groups. Groups participating this year are First Capital Chorus, Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Kennedy House Singers, Soundscape A Capella Chorus, Sunrise Seniors Chorus and The Vaudevillians;  The Young People’s Opera Society of BC represents the younger singers.

The Young People’s Opera Society of BC, or YPOSBC, is entering its second decade of operation. Founded in 2005 by Patricia Dahlquist (see above list), the society’s primary purpose is to provide opportunities for young people to sing and perform opera.

Dahlquist, a 50-year veteran of professional stage, screen, TV, recording and concert halls – and Juno Award winner – is also an inspirational teacher.  YPOSBC has had a bumpy start, but it is still here. Now, as the society enters its second decade, the progress will continue under the guidance of last season’s artistic director, Dolores Scott.

YPOS is presenting “Robinson Crusoe,” an opera by Jacques Offenbach, in concert on Saturday, April 16 (starting at 7:30 p.m.) and on Sunday, April 17 (2 p.m.) at Newton Cultural Centre, 13530 72nd Ave. Tickets are $12/$15 from Eventbrite (search for Ypos presents Robinson Crusoe an Opera) or at the door.  This intimate theatre space doesn’t hold a lot of people, and parking spaces are limited, but I sure do encourage you to attend. It can be like a preview of what you might want to get involved in. YPOSBC always welcomes new members of all ages to sing, be on the board of directors or volunteer for the production team.  Contact Dahlquist at or or call 604-594-9506.



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