City Opera Vancouver
The Hafu Project

When & Where Sat, May 25, 2024 at 7:30pm & Sun, May 26, 2024 at 2pm | The Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave, Vancouver

Featured performers Luka Kawabata, baritone Perri Lo, piano

Reviewer Shakeela Begum


City Opera Vancouver's The Hafu Project offers a uniquely refreshing and intimate exploration of identity in multiple worlds, blending music, dialogue, and multimedia in an evocative live performance. Performed by the talented Nikkei-Canadian baritone Luka Kawabata and skilled pianist Perri Lo, this adaptation from a digital series breathes new life into its themes with its first live public performance.

The project delicately navigates the semi-biographical journey of an artist, Kawabata entwined between multiple cultures, offering a personal and emotional experience that was both engaging and enlightening. Through a combination of traditional and adapted songs, the performance draws on cultural touchpoints from Japanese, Swedish, and Canadian backgrounds, creating a rich tapestry of sound and emotion. The integration of multimedia elements and movement amongst the audience enhanced the storytelling, making the narrative vivid and immersive.

Overall, The Hafu Project is an eloquent testimony to the power of music and performance to explore complex themes of heritage, identity and belonging. It is a must-see for those interested in new, innovative opera that connects deeply personal stories with universal questions of belonging and community.

© 2024 Shakeela Begum