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New Broadway Extravaganza Raises Funds For ME/CFS/FM Awareness Week
Tuesday 28 April 2015
New Broadway Extravaganza Raises Funds for Chronic Neuro-Immune Disease Awareness Week
Multi-award-winning young performers from Vancouver's Opera Mariposa raise voices for Awareness Week by performing hit songs from 'Wicked,' 'Spamalot,' 'Sweeney Todd' and more in support of the National ME/FM Action Network. Tickets on sale now through Brown Paper Tickets.
This May, the critically acclaimed performers of Opera Mariposa are bringing audiences a night of musical theatre showstoppers in support of chronic neuro-immune disease awareness. On Saturday, May 16th, sopranos Jacqueline Ko and Robin Eder-Warren, baritenor Kyle Preston Oliver and pianist Chris Feige will present 'Tour de Force,' a Broadway benefit show at Marpole United Church. The performance will honour the International Awareness Week for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (ME/CFS & FM), and a portion of every ticket sale will go to the National ME/FM Action Network. Tickets start at $15 and are available at operamariposa.com or from Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.
Opera Mariposa's artistic director Jacqueline Ko has suffered from ME/CFS since the age of six, and she is determined to use her passion for music to raise awareness. "ME/CFS affects more than twenty-eight million people worldwide," Ko says, "and studies report that it can be as debilitating as lupus or late-stage AIDS. Despite this, many cases go undiagnosed, and patients struggle with not only the devastating symptoms, but a lack of medical support and community understanding."
Despite the challenges of her illness, Ko has managed to become a celebrated singer and show producer. At age 20 she teamed up with her childhood friend Robin Eder-Warren to found Opera Mariposa, an acclaimed Vancouver company for emerging artists, and now the young women are determined to use their success to help others. With 'Tour de Force,' Opera Mariposa will present their biggest Broadway show ever, featuring hits songs from 'Wicked,' 'Gypsy,' 'Spamalot,' 'Sweeney Todd' and more. "We're pulling out all the stops for this show," says Eder-Warren, "and we’ll be performing some of the boldest, most scene-stealing music we know, from the heart-wrenching to the hilarious. We have showstoppers from Sondheim, Bernstein and Lloyd Webber, as well as tributes to some of the great Broadway performers we love. It’s going to be a wild night of wonderful music for a fabulous cause."
The evening will include a prize raffle and reception, and the charitable proceeds will go towards educating more medical professionals in how to diagnose and treat ME/CFS and FM. 'Tour de Force' will be Mariposa's third benefit and awareness show; in 2013, their gala concert 'The Singer' raised $10,000 for the newly opened Complex Chronic Diseases Program at BC Women's Hospital, while their 2014 revue show 'The Butterfly' raised over $13,000 for the cause.
TOUR DE FORCE – Saturday, May 16th, 2015 at 7:30 pm
About Opera Mariposa: Opera Mariposa is a critically acclaimed Vancouver company run by young artists, for young artists. Now in their third season, they are dedicated to creating a stage for emerging talent, showcasing North America's most promising performers in a diverse program of gala concerts, original shows and fully staged opera productions. The Vancouver Project recently declared that "Opera Mariposa stands at the forefront of Vancouver's opera scene," and Mariposa's productions have been hailed as "a stroke of genius" (The Voice) for their ability to engage both dedicated music lovers and new audiences. Learn more at operamariposa.com
About the National ME/FM Action Network: The National ME/FM Action Network is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to advancing the recognition and understanding of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through support, advocacy, education and research. Some of their accomplishments include spearheading the development of the Consensus Documents, known as the Canadian Consensus Criteria, and providing information to patients, health professionals and educators. The network celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013. Learn more at http://www.mefmaction.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: High-resolution photos are available. If you would like to schedule an interview with Jacqueline Ko or the other performers, please email Robin Eder-Warren at operamariposa(at)gmail(dot)com or call her at 778-918-9498. Opera Mariposa artists are also available to perform in-studio, as a way to provide you with a unique angle for covering Awareness Week and Opera Mariposa's third annual Awareness performance 'Tour de Force.'
The above originally appeared here.
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