Feb 14, 2019

A Real Manitoba Opera Love Story

It was the fall of 2004. Dawn had returned home to Winnipeg earlier that year from her studies at McGill in Montreal. She entered the post baccalaureate program at the University of Manitoba’s School of Music (now known as the Marcel A Desautels Faculty of Music)

Enter Paul who was in his second year of his Bachelor of Music and feeling quite adventurous after having finished a Bachelors of Commerce at the Asper School of Business.

While Paul and Dawn met at the School of Music, they rarely talked until their time together on the stage at Manitoba Opera’s 2004 production of Rigoletto. Paul, the oblivious one, was standing in for Gaétan Laperrière – Rigoletto – as he was not arriving until later in the rehearsal period. Dawn, Ms. Va Va Voom, was Countess Ceprano. Rigoletto and Countess Ceprano. Perhaps a re-write is in order?

Typically, a love story like this would go that it was love at first sight. But this librettist knows that life is never that straight forward.

They started to hang out before or after Rigoletto rehearsals and during school hours. Paul was pretty sure that Dawn (aka Ms. Va Va Voom) was entirely out of his league. But Dawn kept wanting to hang out. She even started planting items in Paul’s apartment for which she would have to return. Or she would bring old photo albums to show Paul, and even invited him out to The Toad and the Hole for drinks. But still, Paul (aka, the oblivious one), had no clue.

Until that one fateful night when it all changed. What happened, you ask? Well, this librettist knows better than to kiss and tell. But the final aria had been sung, and Paul, not quite so oblivious anymore, finally had a clue.

Final Scene: Dawn and Paul have been married and living happily ever after (albeit tired) for over 12 years, with two young children, a dog, and three cats. Dawn has a private voice teaching studio and a studio at both Canadian Mennonite University and the Community School of Music and the Arts. She is also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Flipside Opera and still performs often. Paul is a Private Wealth Manager with Quadrant Private Wealth, and is the Treasurer and Co-Founder of Polycoro Chamber Choir.

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