Colourful and captivating, Golijov’s Ainadamar makes history for Pacific Opera Victoria

Music lovers will experience history-in-the-making this month as Pacific Opera Victoria brings to life Golijov’s Ainadamar, an opera, and true story, sung entirely in Spanish. Conducted by Giuseppe Pietraroia and overflowing with the passion of flamenco, the performances will transport audiences to one of the most tumultuous times of the 20th century: the Spanish Civil War.

In 1936, one of the great Spanish poets of the time, Federico Garcia Lorca, was assassinated by Spanish Nationalist forces. While only 38 at his death, he’d already created work that would stand the test of time. Witness Lorca’s story through the eyes of his muse, Catalan actress Margarita Xirgu, in this colourful and thought- provoking musical masterpiece.

The short, 80-minute opera is the first time Pacific Opera has performed entirely in Spanish. An exciting new world is unlocked with the accompaniment of local artists including Flamenco Victoria dancers from Alma de España, Spanish guitarists, and an all female chorus comprised of 17 members the Pacific Opera Chorus joined by six talented young singers from the Victoria Children’s Choir.

“We’re thrilled to welcome twice Juno-nominated soprano Miriam Khalil as she returns to Pacific Opera Victoria in the role of Margarita Xirgu, along with mezzo-soprano Hanna Hip, in her Pacific Opera debut as Federico Garcia Lorca,” says CEO, Ian Rye.

“We’ll also welcome, in their company debuts, American soprano Sarah Shafer and international Flamenco singer Alfredo Tejada as Ruiz Alonso. We’re excited to have such a colourful cast onboard to help tell this heartbreaking and passionate story.”

A modern opera, Ainadamar has grown in popularity as more and more audiences are captivated by Lorca’s story. It was most recently performed in Canada in 2023, at Opéra de Montréal, where this production premièred.

“Golijov’s music is an amalgam of musical styles incorporating traditional Western music with that of Flamenco, Sephardic chant, electro-acoustic and Middle Eastern influences,” Pietraroia says. “All of this gives us a work that is rhythmic, raw and fiery as well as intimate, introspective and utterly beautiful. I’m excited to bring this premiere to Pacific Opera audiences. I know they will be moved both body and soul.”

Ainadamar takes the stage at the Royal Theatre on Feb. 21, 23 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m.

It also happens to be the last chance for audience members to enjoy a fantastic deal through Pacific Opera Victoria’s two-show package by becoming a subscriber for the 2023/2024 season. Enjoy Golijov’s Ainadamar this February and then take in a long-standing favourite with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in April. Learn more about becoming a subscriber online here.

Buy your tickets today and don’t miss your opportunity to see this colourful, captivating performance! Visit to learn more and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and the occasional glimpse behind the curtain.

Don’t miss Ainadamar this February at the Royal Theatre.

Don’t miss Ainadamar this February at the Royal Theatre.

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