Our History

The Young People's Opera Society of BC was created in 2005 after several singing students complained that there were no opportunities for young people to sing and perform opera. Founder Patricia Dahlquist took on starting the society, gathering a strong and well-connected board, establishing provincial non-profit status and writing an opera for youth. Thus YPOSBC and The King Who Wouldn't Sing were born.

Dahlquist, a 50 year veteran of professional stage, screen, TV, recording and concert halls, and a teacher since 1978, was ready to produce something different for her students. "I wanted to provide an option to pop, rock and musical theatre. Opera incorporates singing, dancing and acting, and is undoubtedly the primogeniture of musical theatre. The music, however, is generally more complex and satisfying, unless of course you're singing Sondheim!"

After a workshop of The King Who Wouldn't Sing, the first three years were busy for librettist Dahlquist and composer George Austin. "Despite the birth pains, particularly with our second original opera, Spirit Moon, we were happy with what we created and satisfied that we fulfilled our mandate to produce opera for and with young people. Along the way we provided excellent vocal training and performance experience for our members," says Dahlquist.

Creating two original full-length pieces in three years with limited resources was a huge undertaking and would have been impossible if not for the society's intrepid Executive Director, Barbara Gould, and the hard-working board of directors. YPOSBC worked with hundreds of singers from age 6 to 80+, engaged many musicians, and delighted thousands of audience members, young and old alike. Society members have gone on to study and perform in major cities across Canada and the U.S., including Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Los Angeles and Oklahoma.

In 2022, the organization’s name was officially changed to Crescendo Operatic Society.

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