Pop Opera Comes Full Circle

When Bugs Bunny first appeared in a cartoon as the protagonist of a spoof of The Barber of Seville, the public roared with laughter, but classical purists rolled their eyes at what they saw as the bastardization of Great Art. Decades later, with classical music becoming an endangered art form, and pop culture occupying an ever more important role in society, the Vancouver Opera is using the cartoon to promote their more traditional performances. “You might call this missionary work. From a company with a million-dollar debt, teetering a few years ago on the brink of bankruptcy, Vancouver Opera has transformed itself into a debt-free, community-conscious, grassroots purveyor of an art form once associated with social elitism and a disdain for everything Bugs Bunny stood for.”