Anna Marie Kaufman returns to central Alberta in “It’s Coco!”

Show runs June 9 to 11 at Scott Block Theatre

Canadian soprano Anna Maria Kaufman will return to her home province to perform “It’s Coco!”

The opera, written by Cheryl Cooney and Kaufman follows the story of Coco Chanel. Told with instrument and voice, the opera highlights how Coco, abandoned after her mother’s death, began to make a productive life for herself.

Her development began with sewing work in an orphanage and culminated in the founding of her iconic fashion house.

Cooney and Kaufman have been creating, writing, and composing this opera for the past three years using the lock down time with COVID.

“I created the role with my friend Cheryl Cooney she is the composer and co-wrote the lyrics with me I wanted to play a strong woman and here she is.”

Cooney, who is from Red Deer has worked with Kaufman on several concerts over the years.

“One day a few years back I asked her if she wants to write a show opera musical about the life of Coco Chanel.”

She said that since they began writing the show she has been creating and playing the role of Coco as authentically as she can.

“It is so amazing to bring it to life, for that you need an amazing director-choreographer, team of people producing it, amazing artists musicians costume, set designer, a location and people willing to put time effort energy love passion into the creation.”

The music in the production parallels stylistic trends of French cabaret, contemporary English opera, and north American film, as well as expressionism inherent in the nascent German operatic boom prior to World War II.

“It is a short truthful powerful story of her journey in life from childhood to her passing with beautiful amazing moments,” said Kaufman.

The local production is also part of the restart of the local theatre scene in Red Deer and will engage local performance and production talent. In the future, Cooney and Kaufman hope to take the production worldwide to as many theatres as possible.

Kaufmann said that she loves having the opportunity to spend so much time where she grew up, with such amazing Canadian artists.

“It is a very creative time and hard work but most amazing and beautiful.”

She will be returning to Germany right after the show on June 11, for orchestra rehearsals in Berlin with the Babelsberg film orchestra for concerts that are coming up.

“It’s Coco!” will run June 9 to 11 at the Scott Block Theatre. Tickets are available online at dpl.org/cocomusical.

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