In Memoriam

Allen (Al) Baratelli

Allen (Al) Baratelli

May 18th, 2021

Dear Brothers, Sisters, and Kin:
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Gold Card member Allen "Al" Baratelli on May 18th, 2021. 

Al started in theatre at King Edward High School in Vancouver in 1953, where he learned about lighting and set construction.  While still at school, Al got a job as an usher at the Pantages Theatre and the Georgia Auditorium in 1953-55.  After graduating high school, he went to UBC to study engineering.  While at UBC, Al joined the UBC Musical Society where he was a stage manager.  After first year, he worked at Theatre Under the Stars as a prop maker in the scene shop.  After his second year at UBC, Al went back to TUTS and continued working in the shop, where he met Gail McCance who was the shop foreman and the Business Agent for IATSE Local 118.  Al never went back to UBC, but stayed at the TUTS scene shop from 1957 – 1963 building sets.

Al became a member of IATSE Local 118 in 1959.  When he wasn’t building sets, he was working as a stagehand.  He worked at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre right from its opening, at the Orpheum Theatre, and also worked at theatres that no longer exist (The Cave, among others).

In 1966, Al accepted a job as Head Carpenter on the National Tour of the musical  “Half a Sixpence”.  He toured across North America for over a year until the tour closed, returned to Vancouver, then started working at the Vancouver Opera shop building sets with other carpenters, and scenic artists such as Harold Laxton.  Also during this time he worked on the movies “That Cold Day in the Park” (1969) and “Carnal Knowledge” (1970).

In 1977, Al became the Production Manager and Technical Director of the Vancouver Opera.  In this capacity, one of his responsibilities was to travel with sets rented from the VOA and direct the assembly of these sets at opera companies all over North America.  Al was the VOA Production Manager until 1981, and then accepted the position of Technical Director with the Dallas Opera for a year.  After returning from Dallas, he worked full-time as a stagehand, including on shows such as the opening of BC Place, Expo 86, and LivEnt’s Ford Centre.

Al continued working at the QET, Orpheum, and the Vancouver Playhouse until his retirement in 2009.  In retirement, he volunteered with the Langley Players designing sets and lights, and was nominated for and received several community theatre awards.

Al was a ‘character’ who left a legacy of professionalism and commitment to Local 118 and all those who worked with him. His engaging personality will be missed.  

provided by Margaret Underhill and Brian Buckingham 

The Baratelli family is hoping to plan a get together to celebrate Al later on this summer when gatherings are again permissible. We will endeavour to update the membership if and when information becomes available.