Another moving and inspiring Opera Mariposa Benefit + Awareness show last night at Marpole United Church, attended by well over 100 people.
Jacqueline Ko, Mariposa's Artistic Director and last night's lead performer, is a rare talent. Despite having had ME since childhood, she has been able to develop a gorgeous and powerful voice. Her illness has meant that she cannot put in the daily hours of practice usually required to become a professional singer, yet she has found success through her years of dedication, as well as her incredible vocal gifts and musical memory.
Jacqueline is a generous performer and a great advocate for ME and FM. She wove her inspiring musical choices - including "Somewhere" and " The Impossible Dream" - with her personal story and information about ME and FM, moving the audience and keeping them enthralled throughout the night. The physical demands of such an ambitious show will, however, take its toll. It will take her months to fully recover, the price she pays for doing what she loves and doing the advocacy work she values so highly.
Mezzo-soprano Brittony LeFever and Lyndon Ladeur, Tenor, also took the stage for a number of pieces ranging from German opera to musical theatre. Lyndon left the audience just about in tears with his emotional rendition of "Lonely House", and Brittony and Jacqueline sang a wonderful duet from Hamilton, "Dear Theodosia".
The highly anticipated Mariposa raffle had 23 prizes waiting to find their winners at the end of intermission, including luxury beauty products, Vancouver Opera tickets, original art and art prints, through to a private performance by artists from Opera Mariposa’s Repertory Concert Artist Program. And at the end of the show Jacqueline's grandmother's now famous pastries were brought out.
Behind the scenes, Jacqueline's sister, Stephanie, who has also battled with ME since childhood, brings her many talents to help make the show a success. Stephanie designs the costumes, creates the posters, communications and media splash, and organises the fundraising details.
And Sandra Ko, Jacqueline and Stephanie's mother, is the rock behind her daughters, fully committed to supporting their talent and success, with calm grace and boundless energy.
It was a wonderful night! Our Society is honored and privileged to be sponsored by such inspiring and generous talent. Our heart felt thanks to Opera Mariposa, Jacqueline, her family and the Mariposa performers and volunteers.
Photography by Diamond's Edge Photography Lighting design by Harika Xu