Manitoba Opera

Mar 4, 2022

GALA CONCERT CELEBRATING OPERA CLOSES SEASON SATURDAY, APRIL 2

A gala concert celebrating opera will close Manitoba Opera’s 2021/22 season on Saturday, April 2. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm and take place at the Centennial Concert Hall. It will be available for in-person attendance and to watch via livestream. For more info on tickets, go to mbopera.ca

The evening of opera favorites will be sung by a quartet of acclaimed Canadian artists: soprano Andriana Chuchman, mezzo-soprano Catherine Daniel, tenor David Pomeroy, and baritone James Westman.

Accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tyrone Paterson, the singers will showcase a selection of treasured works by beloved composers including Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, and Mozart. Winnipeg soprano Monica Huisman will host the evening, providing a singer’s perspective on the music selections.

“Nessum dorma” from Turandot, “Caro nome” from Rigoletto, and the ever-popular “Largo al Factotum” from The Barber of Seville are just a few of treats in store for you.

Mezzo-soprano Lizzy Hoyt will also be featured singing Angelina’s aria from Rossini’s La Cenerentola: “Nacqui all’ affanno…Non più mesta.” The opera, originally scheduled for this April, was postponed to the fall and will star Ms. Hoyt singing the principal role of Angelina.

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Feb 25, 2022

Singers Return to Classrooms after Two-Year Absence

Last month marked the first time in two years that singers were back in the classroom connecting with kids through opera. COVID-19 health and safety protocols had prohibited school visits since March 2020.

This season though, thanks to the generosity of our donors and with schools once again able to open their doors to guests, a record 28 classrooms were visited by three artists – Katherine Mayba, Sydney Clarke, and John Anderson – during I Love to Read month.

Each February, as part of this initiative, Manitoba Opera is pleased to send an opera singer to schools to engage students’ imaginations. Together, they read a wonderful story like Opera Cat, have fun doing vocal exercises, and top off the session with a short performance.

Free of charge for schools, this initiative is always a “sell out,” and we inevitably have more requests for singers than we can fill. However, as a result of donations raised through this past December’s Unleash Their Imaginations campaign, the company was able to hire singers for close to three times as many visits as usual!

Manitoba Opera is now also able to offer I Love to Read visits for presentation in both French and Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines).

 

As well this spring, teachers will be able to share an Opera Storytime video episode in either French or Tagalog, as well as English. Opera Cat has been recorded in French with storyteller Katherine Mayba and Paul Ong has shared the story of Pet of the Met in Tagalog. These fun and engaging storybooks about opera-loving animals are a great introduction to the art form for K to grade 4.

Manitoba Opera is also anticipating returning to classrooms this spring to present Opera Class, a 45-minute workshop led by an opera singer who introduces student to opera through imaginative hands-on learning. For this first time, sessions will be offered in French as well as English.

Opera Class workshops are made possible with funding from Telus and it is expected that singers will be presenting between 20-30 workshops in Winnipeg-area schools between now and the end of June. Eight workshops have already been presented by baritone Nathan Sawatzky-Dyck at Betty Gibson School in Brandon in December.

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Feb 25, 2022

Tenor Kyle Briscoe joins Admin Team

Kyle Briscoe certainly has something to sing about these days: he is realizing his dream of working in arts administration. Kyle joined the Manitoba Opera staff team earlier this month in the newly created role of Executive Assistant. He will be providing administrative and research support to the General Director & CEO and the Director of Operations, as well as manage monthly board, committee, and staff meetings.

“As a self-described administration nerd, I am looking forward to contributing to Manitoba Opera’s initiatives, development, and productions through the duties of my role,” he explains.

“One of the most meaningful parts of my university career was attending Manitoba Opera productions and experiencing the magic behind my studies’ purpose. I have always been curious and eager to learn more about how such productions came to be from an administrative perspective. To have an opportunity to join the team responsible, where I would be able to contribute myself, is a dream come true.”

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Kyle attended the University of Manitoba where he received an undergraduate degree in vocal performance studying as a tenor under Mel Braun. He was also fortunate to participate in the Association for Opera in Canada’s inaugural emerging artist fellowship during the final year of his studies. It proved to be a great opportunity to develop his autobiographical new music-theatre work and build on professional development.

Prior to joining Manitoba Opera full time, Kyle did some telemarketing for the company and had started developing an Opera Class session while working as a freelance opera artist. He plans to continue as Alumni Assistant with the Association for Opera in Canada, where he provides support in the young artist program and their community engagement.

Maintaining his studio of five students who inspired Kyle to continue his own development as a singer and artist and singing in the Young United Church Choir for the last four years, also help to keep him in touch with the performance side of his career.

“Opera has always been my paint and paintbrush for creativity,” he explains. “My experience in all aspects of opera reminds me of its unmatched expressive power – it has the potential to teach you how to feel.”

“Opera, and other art forms alike, create a brave space to connect communities of people through a shared experience of vulnerability and healing. In a time of such uncertainty and emotional recovery, I believe a thriving arts community is more important than ever.”

In his limited spare time, Kyle can be found running half marathons around River Heights, spending time with close friends and family, or working on his first-ever album release which will feature a collection of folk-pop music he has written over the last year.

You’ll also be able to catch Kyle perform later this month in the WSO’s presentation of Handel’s Solomon (March 25). He’ll be singing the role of the attendant in the chorus and will be joining sopranos Tracy Dahl and Monica Huisman, countertenor Daniel Taylor, and the University of Manitoba Singers for this exultant work.

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Jan 28, 2022

Manitoba Opera Postpones Spring 2022 Production La Cenerentola Rescheduled to the 2022/23 Season

Manitoba Opera announced today that in response to the continued prevalence of the Omicron variant in the community and the organization’s responsibility to provide a safe environment for the artists, musicians, crew, staff, and patrons, the company has decided to postpone La Cenerentola (pronounced Chen-er-en-toe-lah), scheduled for April 2, 5, and 8. This comic take on the fairy tale classic, Cinderella, will instead be presented in 2022/23, the 50th anniversary season.

“Although we are disappointed that we have had to reschedule our production of La Cenerentola, it is our responsibility to create a safe working environment throughout the entire run of the show, from the first chorus rehearsal in January until the curtain falls on closing night. We were not confident that this would be possible over the next few months,” said Judith Chambers, Chair, Board of Trustees. “We also need to minimize financial risk to the organization so that we have a healthy company in place to be able to return to producing fully staged productions.”

The company will present a concert of opera favorites on Saturday, April 2, with options to attend in person at the Centennial Concert Hall (attendance will be determined by Public Health restrictions in place at that time) or watch via livestream.

“By making the decision now to postpone, we give ourselves time to organize a concert for the April time slot rather than not have any programming at all,” explained Larry Desrochers, General Director & CEO. “With a smaller cast and crew, a concert presents fewer risks than a fully staged production. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will be situated on the stage rather than in the confines of the pit, and if an artist is unable to perform, it is less likely that the entire show would have to be cancelled.”

More details on the concert event and tickets will be released very soon.

La Cenerentola ticketholders will be contacted by Manitoba Opera directly or can call the Box Office at 204-944-8824.

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