Upcoming May Concerts

May 4, 7, 9, 11
Tea: A Mirror of the Soul
Queen Elizabeth TheatreVancouver Opera

Ancient Japan. Seikyo, a prince by birth, tells his fellow monks the story of how he came to the temple: Years earlier, in China, seeking to marry Princess Lan, Seikyo confronts her jealous brother, the Prince, and must answer his challenge: find The Book of Tea and reveal its secret wisdom.

In the distant south, Lu, daughter of the Tea Sage, relinquishes the book on condition that Seikyo and Lan vow to spread its truth throughout the world. Before they can read it, the Prince attacks Seikyo, and Lan is killed when she intervenes. The grief-stricken Prince offers himself in sacrifice, but Seikyo declines, choosing instead to cut off his own hair and take a monk’s vow.

Combining sounds of water, paper, ceramic and stone with a traditional western orchestra, Tan Dun’s haunting score is trance-like and beautiful. Tea: A Mirror of Soul is highly theatrical, visually stunning, and charged with eroticism, ritual and poetry. This will be an extraordinary and deeply rewarding opera experience.

Opens May 4th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre,   Vancouver Opera

Malambo Grassroots Charity

Malambo Grassroots, a member project of Rose Charities Canada, is focused on community development in southern Zambia. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this small and dedicated group of people! If you would like to know more about our numerous community collaborations and projects in Zambia, or if you’d like to help out in any way, please visit malambograssroots.ca or visit us on facebook!

Here is a look at two of the projects that are my focus!

Ngoma Dolce Music Academy

I had the pleasure of being introduced to this Zambian run music academy two years ago, shortly after the school had opened it’s doors. Co-director Moses Kalommo shared his stories of being a youth, wanting to study western classical music, in particular the violin, and all that he had to overcome to make that happen. It was a remarkable story that resulted in Moses’ desire to create a space where students could learn music.
Inspired by everyone we met at the Academy, we wanted to see how we could contribute. With donations and assistance from across Canada, we were able to ship a container with over 100 musical instruments (all repaired and in tip-top shape!), boxes and boxes of music, CDs, strings, reeds, music stands etc etc. We were also able to start a scholarship program, the Chen Family Scholarship Fund, which allows Zambian children to study music at the academy!


There is excitement about future possibilities right now for the Ngoma Dolce Music Academy! They have been offered a donation that may be enough for the school to buy a parcel of land. It would be wonderful to no longer pay rental costs. As well, the Academy is in need of more space! The school will move into containers until they are able to fundraise enough to build the school!

St Vincent de Paul School

I was introduced to my friend, Sister Lontia, and the children at St Vincent de Paul on my first visit to Zambia in 2010. Since then, our relationship with Sr. Lontia and the school has continued to flourish. Sr Lontia provides a beautiful environment for underprivileged, orphaned children to attend elementary school. They are able to offer the children one meal a day and are extremely creative in keeping the school funded…. raising chickens, making shopping bags for market, rugs to sell. Sr. Lontia has been making school uniforms for the children as well, a standard requirement in schools across Zambia.
Our partnership with St. Vincent is multi-dimensional! One of the upright pianos, shipped from Canada in the Malambo container, was dedicated to St. Vincent de Paul! Sr. Lontia applied to the ministry for a music teacher and recently received news that the school will receive one! We are thrilled to learn this!!
We have also provided school supplies, and most recently we started a scholarship program with St. Vincent. Once children enter high school in Zambia, they must start paying for their education. This is not a possibility for most of Sr. Lontia’s students, so we have created a scholarship program with Sr Lontia, to support several children through high school. We are so grateful to be able to provide this! It is a scholarship program that we hope to grow.

On our first visit to the school, we brought an art project…..the opportunity to create a mural on the front wall of St. Vincent de Paul! The children painted over several weeks, making a beautiful, bright and cheery entrance to the school. It was wonderful to see the joy, happiness, and care that radiated from the children as they painted.


More to come soon….

World Harp Congress Review

Trio Verlaine had the wonderful opportunity to interview iconic Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer about his inspired life, his connection to the harp, and the recent Trio he wrote for them.  The article is featured in both the fall 2011 and spring 2012 issue of the World Harp Congress Review.  A brief excerpt from the WHCR article pdf.

As It Happens ~ Instruments to Zambia

What an honour to be interviewed by Carol Off.  Shipping the instruments to Zambia was a huge labour of love by so many people……I can’t thank everyone enough for their dedication, time and compassion in making this happen! Listen to the interview here!