A gripping drama that could come straight from today’s headlines.

Set in a small Tennessee mountain village in the 1950s, Susannah tells the story of an 18-year-old girl targeted as a sinner after some elders spy her bathing nude in a secluded stream.
At a revival meeting, an itinerant evangelist urges Susannah to save her soul – but it is not her soul the Reverend desires. She refuses and he follows her home. Exhausted and beaten down by the townsfolk’s cruelty, she allows the Reverend into her house.

The next day, knowing she was a virgin, the Reverend pleads for her innocence, but everyone tries to drive Susannah from her home. She stands her ground, defiant against their hypocrisy.

Winner of the New York Music Critics Circle Award for Best New Opera in 1956, Floyd’s powerful score is brimming with Puccini-like melodies, hymns, ballads, and folk tunes.

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

Music & Libretto

Carlisle Floyd (1955)

Sung in English with English projections


Opera Plus

Upcoming Events

Film Screening: Susannah

Susannah is American composer Carlisle Floyd's best-known opera. Loosely based on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders, the work is rooted in vernacular folk melodies and hymns, and contains soaring melodic beauty. This 2014 production by the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra & Chorus is conducted by Mark Sforzini, and stars Susan Hellman Spatafora

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Folk Song Traditions

In this panel presentation, musicologist Colette Simonot-Maiello explains how Carlisle Floyd creates a soundscape of Tennessee in his opera Susannah by drawing on Appalachian folk music traditions, and ethnomusicologist Matthew Knight explores the parallel soundscape of Manitoba with a discussion of local folk traditions. Baritone Mel Braun and pianist Laura Loewen perform selections from their

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Understanding the Music: Susannah

Dr. Colette Simonot-Maiello, Assistant Professor of Musicology, Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba, presenter. In this talk, Dr. Simonot-Maiello will speak about how Carlisle Floyd transports a loose re-telling of the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders into New Hope Valley, Tennessee with a soundscape of the American south created by drawing on

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Get to Know Susannah: Excerpts Concert

Hear highlights from Carlisle Floyd’s masterpiece performed live by cast members, with piano accompaniment by Tadeusz Biernacki. Emcee: Baritone Paul Bruch-Wiens. There is no charge for this event, but registration is required. This is a ticketless event. Registered patrons will be on an attendance list. Please do not select "Mail Me My Tickets". To register:

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“Susannah”: A Conversation About Sexual Abuse in Faith Communities

Manitoba Opera hosts a conversation about sexual abuse within faith communities, a theme that is part of the central conflict of the opera Susannah. Panelists for this discussion include: Kelly Bernardin-Dvorak, Family Therapist, Jonah Counseling & Consulting Jaymie Friesen, Abuse Response and Prevention Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba Stan McKay, Cree Elder from Fisher River

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Opera Primer: Susannah

Music expert Don Anderson will give an hour-long presentation focusing on the composer and synopsis, with DVD excerpts. There is no charge for this event, and tickets will not be printed. Registered patrons will be on an attendance list. Please do not select "Mail Me My Tickets". To register: Online: Click here to register online.

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Susannah Opening Night Dinner

Champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner, catered by Bergmann’s on Lombard. TICKETS $150 per person (Does not include a ticket to the performance) Includes complimentary parking and coat check. For Tickets or More information contact Liz Miller, 204-942-0489 emiller@mbopera.ca Click Here To Buy Tickets

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Susannah Closing Night Dinner

Enhance your evening with the Susannah Closing Night Dinner • A delicious dinner & dessert prepared by Bergmann’s on Lombard • Convenience of dinner right inside the Concert Hall • Exclusive dinner Pre-show chat with Ashley Rees COST $65 per person, including taxes and gratuity For Tickets or More information contact Liz Miller, 204-942-0489 emiller@mbopera.ca

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Season Supporters

Susannah Polk Lara Ciekiewicz

Sam Polk Michael Robert Hendrick

Olin Blitch Kristopher Irmiter

Little Bat McLean James McLennan

Director Kelly Robinson

Conductor Tyrone Paterson