The People


General Manager - Brendan McKeen

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in Winnipeg, Brendan McKeen has conducted orchestras all over North America. His conducting credits include orchestras in South Carolina, New York, Baltimore, and Ottawa, as well as Manitoba's own Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. McKeen completed his Masters of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at Northwestern University in 2015, under the tutelage of Maestros Victor Yampolsky and Robert Hasty. Mr. McKeen served as Assistant Conductor for Northwestern University’s production of Mozart's Così fan tutte under Lyric Opera of Chicago conductor, Maestro Emanuele Andrizzi.

Inspired by his love of opera and his passion for nurturing young artists, Mr. McKeen founded Manitoba Underground Opera in September 2008. Now approaching its tenth anniversary, MUO has grown into an established fixture of the Winnipeg cultural community, presenting a summer opera festival every August.

In addition to his career as conductor and general manager with MUO, Mr. McKeen serves on the Manitobans for the Arts Advocacy Committee. This organization is devoted to advancing arts, culture, heritage, and creativity in Manitoba. 

Artistic Director - Brenna Corner

Brenna Corner has worked as a director, actor, singer, choreographer, and fight director across Canada, the United States and Europe.  Brenna has been a member of the Yulanda M Faris Young Artist Program with Vancouver Opera and is currently working with The Atlanta Opera as the Resident Director for their Studio program. 

Ms. Corner is the artistic director of Fraser Lyric Opera and Manitoba Underground Opera in Winnipeg, Canada.Ms. Corner made her directorial mainstage debut directing a new production of Hansel and Gretel designed by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop for Vancouver Opera.  Ms. Corner returned for her second summer as a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival as the assistant director of their new production The Siege of Calais, as well as the director for Scalia/Ginsburg.

Select directing projects include: Sweeney Todd (New Orleans Opera), Hansel and Gretel (Vancouver Opera) The Four Note Opera(Yulanda M. Faris Vancouver Opera Young Artist Program), Cendrillon (Manitoba Underground Opera), Béatrice et Benedict (Fraser Lyric Opera), The Turn of the Screw (Accademia Europea dell’ Opera). Select assistant directing projects include: Turandot (The Atlanta Opera) The Siege of Calais,(Glimmerglass Opera Festival); Carmen (Canadian Opera Company); Stickboy, (Vancouver Opera), Der Fliegende Hollander (Calgary Opera). 

Director of Production - Laura Gow

Laura is a composer and stage manager from Winnipeg who recently completed her B. Mus. (Composition) at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. She has most recently worked on the stage management team for Prairie Theatre Exchange, the U of M Opera Theatre Ensemble, Rainbow Stage, Dry Cold Productions, and works as a stage manager and Director of Production for Manitoba Underground Opera. Laura has also written a short opera, titled Morgues & Meows, which was performed as part of the 2017 Winnipeg New Music Festival.