Opera Goes Underground at the Waneta Expansion Project

Local Trail, B.C. opera talent, Marie Civitarese, shows off her vocal abilities at one of the largest construction projects in all of B.C.

Marie Civitarese was born and raised in Trail, BC to Dean and Anita (photo above). Marie studied voice from the early age of 7 years old. She honed her amazing craft with voice lessons from the age of 7 to 19 with accomplished voice teacher, Audrey Bissett, in Trail.

Marie is now in her senior year at the State University of New York, Purchase College in NY, NY. Over the course of the year, she will perform in two full-scale opera productions as well as her senior recital. Marie will obtain her Bachelor of Music in Opera and Voice performance in May, 2015.

This past summer, Marie had the opportunity to return home to Trail working as a summer student in the communications department at Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust).

During her time with the Trust, Marie took part in a tour of the $900 million, Waneta Expansion Project (WAX) – one of the largest construction projects in all of B.C. While on the tour, Marie was encouraged by her fellow tour participants to show off her vocal abilities in one of the project’s scroll cases. The tour participants were amazed by Marie’s singing aptitude and the acoustics in the scroll case.

Partners in the Waneta Expansion, with the help of the contractors on-site, provided Marie with the opportunity to sing again at WAX – this time a recording of the performance was captured as a way to memorialize the WAX project and an opportunity for Marie to have a unique performance venue to add to her resume.

“This is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done,” said Marie. “It was great to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to sing at such unique location in my home town. I don’t think anything like this has ever been done before.”

To view Marie’s performance visit youtube.com/columbiapowerorg/videos

A selection of roles Marie had performed in with the Purchase Opera in New York over the past three years includes:

  • Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) – Benjamin Britten
  • Gretel (Hӓnsel und Gretel) – Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Gretel (Hansel and Gretel, New English Version) – Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Adele (Die Fledermaus) – Johann Strauss II
  • Dew Fairy (Hӓnsel und Gretel) – Engelbert Humperdinck

Opera scenes performances include the roles of Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Norina (Don Pasquale), Marzelline (Fidelio), and Zdenka (Arabella). Marie has also been part of the ensemble in Die Fledermaus, Cendrillon, and has been featured as a soloist in the Purchase College Chorus.

The Waneta Expansion Project is a partnership between Fortis Inc. (51 per cent), Columbia Power Corporation (32.5 per cent), and Columbia Basin Trust (16.5 per cent). Columbia Power manages construction of the Project on behalf of the partnership.

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