2019/20 Season

2019/20 Season
Featuring
Susannah & Carmen

A Manitoba Opera Premiere

SUSANNAH

Saturday, November 23
Tuesday, November 26
Friday, November 29

Music & Libretto by Carlisle Floyd (1955)

Sung in English with English projections

The Story

Loosely based on the Apocryphal tale of Susanna and the Elders

Susannah Polk, a wide-eyed, beautiful eighteen-year-old, lives simply, but happily with her older brother Sam, who raised her in New Hope Valley, a small village in Tennessee. She faces accusations of promiscuity and is shunned by a community caught up in a frenzy of religious zeal, innuendo, and intimidation after a group of church elders discover her bathing nude in a secluded stream near her home. Entirely innocent, Susannah is painted as a sinning seductress by the elders who are eager to conceal their own lustful feelings. They force her intellectually disabled best friend Little Bat to say that he had sex with her, and the entire town turns against her.

At a revival meeting, a visiting preacher, Reverend Olin Blitch, tries to force her into repentance to “save her soul,” but she runs from the church. He follows her home to convince her to repent, but he lets her know he’s a lonely man and interested in more than her soul. Exhausted and beaten down by the treatment of the townsfolk, she lets him lead her into the house. The next day, alone and praying, he knows now the townsfolk were lying – she was a virgin. He begs her, and the Lord, for forgiveness, but is shot dead by Sam as revenge for violating his sister. Unable to catch Sam, the town descends on Susannah, but she stands her ground, laughing as she chases them off her property with a shotgun. She has survived their attack, and remains standing there, an inviolably strong and inexorably lonely prisoner of a self-imposed exile.

Music Highlights

Features Puccini-like Melodies, Hymns, Folk Tunes, & Ballads

  • “Ain’t It a Pretty Night”
  • “The Trees on the Mountains”
  • “It’s About the Way People is Made”
  • “Are You Saved from Sin?”

Sets and Costumes by Virginia Opera
Set in 1950’s New Hope Valley, Tennessee

The Artists

Susannah Polk   LARA CIEKIEWICZ
Sam Polk   MICHAEL ROBERT HENDRICK
Olin Blitch   KRISTOPHER IRMITER
Little Bat McLean   JAMES MCLENNAN
Director   TBC
Conductor   TYRONE PATERSON

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The World’s Most Popular Opera!

CARMEN

Saturday, March 28
Tuesday, March 31
Friday, April 3

Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

Based on the story of the same name by French novelist, Prosper Mérimée

Sung in French with French dialogue; projected English translations

Last performed by Manitoba Opera in 2010

The Story

As the workers at a Seville cigarette factory enter the city square on their lunch break, the sensual and seductive Carmen teasers her many admirers. Only the corporal Don José is resistant to her charms. Piqued by his disinterest, she playfully tosses a flower at him.

Later, Carmen is arrested for wounding a co-worker in a rowdy fight. Don José is to take her to prison, but has fallen under her spell and lets her escape. He later deserts the army to join Carmen and her band of smugglers, disregarding his life-long sweetheart and his dying mother. Carmen has tired of the jealous José however, and decides to take on a new lover, the bullfighter Escamillo. Jealousy ignites and José is pushed to the brink of obsessive madness that leads to shocking, murderous consequences.

Music Highlights

  • Carmen’s smoky Habanera, “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle”
  • Don José’s Flower Song, “La fleur que tu m’avais jeté”
  • The seductive “Seguidilla”
  • Escamilo’s rousing “Toreador Song”
  • Micaela’s aria
  • Final Duet

Sets by Edmonton Opera, Costumes by Malabar

The Artists

Carmen   NORA SOUROUZIAN
Don José   DAVID POMEROY
Escamillo   KEITH PHARES
Micaela   LIDA SZKWAREK
Zuniga   GILES TOMKINS
Frasquita    LARA SECORD-HAID
Morales/Daincairo   HUGO LAPORTE
Remendado   JEAN-PHILIPPE LAZURE
Director   BRIAN DEEDRICK
Conductor   TYRONE PATERSON

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Media Release

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