Culture: Carmen, Constant Wife & Assume Nothing

CONSTANT WIFE (Theatre) Said to be “an antecedent to the women of Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City,” Constance Middleton – a protofeminist creation of playwright W. Somerset Maugham’s – is a middle-class housewife of the 1920s betrayed by a cheating husband. Strong, composed and charming, Middleton chooses, rather than wallowing in her grief, to counter the marital injustice by establishing economic independence (“the only real independence,” she says) and going into business as an interior decorator. This Vancouver staging is directed by Morris Panych, a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama. Jan. 22 to Feb. 22. Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, artsclub​.com

ASSUME NOTHING (Art) New Social Practice: In its 115-day run at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Assume Nothing: New Social Practice, an exhibition by 16 artists and artist collectives, will explore human relations and their social context. Sculptures, video installations and performances are all part of the multimedia show and can be experienced throughout downtown Victoria as well as at the art gallery. Featured artists include Mowry Baden, Instant Coffee and Haegue Yang. Jan. 30 to May 24. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria,

CARMEN (Music); Three months after the opening of Carmen in 1875, Georges Bizet died believing that his revolutionary opera was a failure. One hundred and thirty years on, it’s now one of the most performed works in the operatic canon. Vancouver Opera’s six-show production promises passion, betrayal and murder, as well as lots of “uninhibited dancing” (well, you’ve been warned). Conducted by Antony Walker and directed by David Gately, the opera features Rinat Shaham in the title role, an Israeli-born mezzo-soprano who launched her career as Carmen at 2004’s Glyndebourne Festival. Jan. 24 to Feb. 5, Queen Elizabeth Theatre,