May 28, 2020

A Message from Larry Desrochers

This is the final edition of Libretto for the 2019/20 season.  It’s the season that will go down in the history books as the one with the asterisk beside it, like the prize fighter who changed weight classes to win a championship or the Stanley Cup-winning team in a shortened season.  A special achievement in extraordinary circumstances.

Soon the Government of Manitoba will implement Phase 2 of its re-opening plan, and we will all take cautious, careful, wobbly baby steps towards – what?  That, as Hamlet says, is the question.  Are we going back to the old normal or are we wandering down the path to some undiscovered country?  I wonder if we still think that it is familiarity that breeds contempt.  Perhaps these days, it is uncertainty.

I’m reminded of a principle in Steven Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: we “should begin with the end in mind.”  Simply put, an architect imagines a building, then creates the blueprints, and then builds the building.  She/he begins with the imagined “end in mind” first, and then proactively takes steps to make that end a reality.

So, what is the “end in mind” for Manitoba Opera?  Where do I imagine we are six months from now, or a year, or two years?  Does Figaro still have the solutions to everyone’s problems?  Do Rodolfo and Mimi still fall in love over candlelight?  Does Papageno still find his Papagena?  Of course they do, and they always will because no matter how we do it, Manitoba Opera will always be about singing, music, and story.  The “end in mind” is for artists to share the gifts of their talents with audiences, lovingly portraying the pains and joys, the blood and soul of the human experience.

For a little while we might not sit in a darkened theatre together or I might not be able to greet you in the lobby.  But summer is upon us and the smell of lilacs is in the air.  Besides, who wants to go the opera when it’s nice outside anyway?  Unless, of course, it is outside!  In a few weeks, we will be sharing our plans for next season; some of those plans will remain the same and some will change.  What will be a constant throughout next season though is our pledge to provide quality experiences and opportunities to share opera with you that we hope inspires, entertains, and delights.

Finally, I want to thank the hundreds of patrons who’ve donated their Carmen tickets back to the company, as well as the hundreds of donors who’ve renewed their gifts or donated to our year end campaign.  The board, staff, artists, and volunteers are all very grateful for your support.  Your generosity makes the asterisk on this season a little more special.



Larry Desrochers
General Director & CEO

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