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Edmonton Opera hosts free Alberta-wide Valentine’s Day gala

Click to play video 'Edmonton Opera hosts free Valentine’s Day gala' Edmonton Opera hosts free Valentine’s Day gala
In the age of physical distancing and face masks, it's sure to be a Valentine's Day you'll never forget. As Morgan Black explains, an Edmonton charity is hoping to add some romance to your stay-at-home plans – Feb 9, 2021

A Valentine’s Day tradition in Edmonton will be enjoyed from home this year.

The Edmonton Opera’s Valentine’s Gala will be broadcast on Global TV across Alberta to keep with COVID-19 safety protocols.

The event is typically the Edmonton Opera’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Funds raised by donation this year will go toward the Edmonton Opera and the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre.

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Edmonton Opera’s Cameron MacRae said money will help the charity’s work within the community and military families.

“Even without a pandemic, the Edmonton Opera is raising three quarters of its budget through donations, grants and the support of the community,” MacRae said.

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The one-hour gala was filmed inside the Northern Jubilee Auditorium over a number of days.

“There’s a limited number of people in the hall, all singers are masked and they are sometimes singing to pre-recorded musical tracks,” MacRae said. “Everyone is also 16 feet apart.”

“It really is a highlight of the year for us. The fact that we were able to find a way to do it safely [was important].”

Opera singers performing in the production said it’s a unique opportunity to enjoy the show.

“People that maybe didn’t have a chance to attend this pretty exclusive and fancy gala can now tune in,” Taylor Fawcett said.

Fawcett, a member of The Volare Tenors, said performing again on stage was a big moment.

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Opera NUOVA celebrates 20th anniversary with masquerade gala – May 23, 2018

“It was really special, it was even a little emotional,” he said. “It’s all music that celebrates the love we have for each other, for our families and our community.”

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MacRae said this year’s event provides a unique opportunity at the Opera.

“You can still get dressed up… but you could also order a pizza and wear your pajamas, which I don’t think you can do at the opera,” he laughed. “I think either are valid choices.”

The event is free and will be broadcast on Global TV across Alberta on February 14 at 4:30 p.m. MT.

You can donate to the Edmonton Opera here and the Edmonton Garrison here.

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