VICTORIA -- For the first time since the pandemic forced it to shut down in March, Pacific Opera Victoria is bringing back live performances.

The opera company is presenting the new “Live at the Baumann” series of concerts. Performances will be to a small, physically-distanced audience of 40 patrons.

“Since our theatres were shuttered in February due to COVID-19, we have been working all summer to get ready for this,” said Pacific Opera Victoria CEO Ian Rye. “The audience (members) sit in a cabaret setting and enjoy a one-hour recital.”

Bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and soprano Lara Secord-Haid have crafted a concert of songs that are meaningful to them, from Schubert to modern song masters. The vocalists will be accompanied by Victoria musicians David Visentin on violin, cellist Rachel Kapon, pianist Kimberly-Ann Bartczak and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Poynter.

“Artists have been so tragically affected by the shut-down caused by COVID-19,” said Rye. “Artists are desperate to perform, artists are desperate for self-expression, so for an opera company, this is our version of doing what we can and making sure the cultural life of Victoria is still as vibrant as it possibly can be.”

The performances will be staged at the opera company’s Baumann Centre at 925 Balmoral Road in Victoria. Rye says the environment will be like an intimate setting, similar what might be found in one of Victoria’s finer restaurants.

“The opportunity to be in a room of fewer that 50 people to enjoy music is unheard of in this time,” said Rye. “The idea of artist and audience in direct relation is so critical to live performing arts.”

For opera fans who are not comfortable attending a live performance, the opera company will provide a livestream online.

More information on “Live at the Baumann” can be found on the Pacific Opera Victoria website.