Relax in your vehicle while enjoying the sublime combination of Berlioz's music and Shakespeare's prose. In the original "will they/won't they" romcom, Béatrice and Bénédict butt heads every time they meet. Their friends conspire to trick the pair into realizing how well-suited they are for one another.
Presented live in concert format, the music will be transmitted over FM radio to ensure the acoustics are perfect no matter where you're parked. A pair of giant LED screens on either side of the stage allows you to see every detail as if you were up close and personal with the performers.
Join us to celebrate the return of live opera in Winnipeg!
August 26, 2021
Lower Fort Garry (5925 Provincial Trunk Hwy 9, Saint Andrews, MB R1A 4A8)
Performance begins at 8pm and is approximately 90 minutes long. The parking lot will open at 6:30pm.
Kettle corn and beverages will be available for purchase from Friends of Lower Fort Garry until 7:45pm.
Béatrice et Bénédict is sung in French alongside Shakespeare's original English dialogue.
Winnipeg conductor and pianist Michelle Mourre has had a rich and varied career. In addition to her current role as the pianist and music teacher for the the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Michelle was most recently the conductor of Winnipeg’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Prior to that she was Conductor in Residence of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Andrey Boreyko and served as Artistic Director of the Brandon Chamber Players from 2006-2010. Michelle also regularly accompanies and coaches instrumentalists and singers, and has recently been actively teaching piano, music history and theory. Michelle obtained a Master's Degree in Orchestral and Operatic Conducting from Indiana University and holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Brandon University.
Brenna Corner has worked as an opera director across Canada, the United States and Europe.
Select directing projects include: Sweeney Todd (New Orleans Opera); Der fliegende Höllander (Cincinnati Opera & Houston Grand Opera ); L’Elisir d’amore (Vancouver Opera); Carmen (The Atlanta Opera); Scalia/Ginsburg & Noye’s Fludd (Glimmerglass Festival); Hansel and Gretel (Vancouver Opera). Brenna has a degree in music from The University of Manitoba, and theatre diplomas from Grant MacEwan College and The British American Drama Academy.
Few vocalists authentically cross genres at the highest level and maintain professional careers in both areas - but LIZZY HOYT is one of them. Praised by Opera Canada for her dramatic depth as an actress and for her “keen comedic gifts”, she is a classical mezzo-soprano performing in operas, concerts, and recitals. An internationally recognized Celtic-folk songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, guitar, harp), she has won and been nominated for numerous awards including Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Music Awards, International Acoustic Music Awards, and Independent Music Awards.
Lizzy’s recent classical performances include Manitoba Opera’s “The Solo Sessions”, Little Opera Company’s “All Those Arias Game Show”, as well as opera roles Julia Child in Hoiby’s Bon Appetit (Little Opera Company), and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Manitoba Underground Opera). Passionate about classical song repertoire, she has performed with Concordia Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Kootenays, Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, and has given recitals for Skywalk Concerts, Arts on 817, Edmonton Recital Society, and St. Albert Chamber Music Society. Lizzy continues her private studies with Tracy Dahl and with programs like Manitoba Opera’s Digital Emerging Artist Program and Tafelmusik’s Summer Baroque Institute. www.lizzyhoyt.com
Born and raised in Winnipeg, James McLennan has performed on opera and concert stages across Canada in a career spanning two decades. He most recently appeared with Manitoba Opera as Little Bat in Susannah. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns, his calendar included a return to Pacific Opera Victoria as Remendado in Carmen, a debut with Opera on the Avalon as the Electrician in Powder Her Face and as Georgie in Ours, appearances with Manitoba Opera as the Beadle in Sweeney Todd and Spoletta in Tosca, and a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Recent season credits include Gastone in La Traviata with Pacific Opera Victoria and Edmonton Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Warden in Kiss of the Spider Woman with Dry Cold Productions. 2017-2018 credits included Goro in Madama Butterfly at Manitoba Opera and Luther Billis in South Pacific for Calgary Opera. That season also saw him at Edmonton Opera in the critically acclaimed production of Les Feluettes as Jean Bilodeau, a role he originated for the world premiere at Montreal Opera in 2016. James is an alumnus of Brandon University and UBC, and he has been a voice instructor at U of M’s Desautels Faculty of Music since 2017. He is also a certified French-to-English translator and a board member of the Association of Translators, Interpreters and Terminologists of Manitoba.
Kinnon Weddall is an emerging coloratura soprano, praised by Opera Canada for her “stirring performance” and “searing delivery”. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma of Music Performance under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. Previously, she had graduated with a Bachelor of Music in 2017, also from the University of Manitoba. In the 2021 Winnipeg Music Festival, Kinnon was the recipient of the Herbert and Audrey Belyea Trophy, in addition to the grand prize of the Rose Bowl. She advanced to the Manitoba Provincial Music Festival, where she placed second in the Senior Voice class and was also the recipient of a Raleigh Family Scholarship for her performance in the Senior W. A. Mozart class. Additionally, she qualified for the 2020/2021 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, competing in the district level. In 2018, Kinnon was a co-winner of Opera Idol (Flipside Opera) and was the runner-up for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society Trophy (Winnipeg Music Festival). She has been a finalist for the Alma Wynne Memorial Trophy (Winnipeg Music Festival), as well as the Zita Bernstein Lieder Competition (University of Manitoba). Kinnon is no stranger to Manitoba Underground Opera, having appeared as a soloist in Female Fortitude (2018) and Lost Voices (2019). Kinnon is thrilled to be making her role debut as Héro in MUO’s Béatrice et Bénédict!
Jean van der Merwe is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where he obtained both an Undergraduate Degree, and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Music, Vocal Performance. Whether it’s his home-town of North Battleford, SK, or his new home in Winnipeg, MB, Jean takes pride in his prairie roots. Jean has performed on stages across Winnipeg, Saskatoon and beyond in shows such as Saskatoon Opera in Schools 2019 production of The Brothers Grimm (Jacob Grimm), Jacob Herd Productions’ award winning 2019 Fringe show The Cause (Jovan Musk) and The Village Conservatory of Musical Theatre & Keep Theatre’s 2020 production of Twelfth Night (Duke Orsino). Most recently, he performed in a (mostly) silent one-man clown show for One Trunk Theatre’s Knock Knock Ginger series. Jean’s love for music is only rivaled by his love for house-plants, of which he has far too many.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nicki is beyond grateful to have had the chance to call the vibrant music community of this city “home” for her whole life. She graduated from the University Of Manitoba Faculty Of Music in 2011 with a degree in Vocal Performance, and has performed throughout the city with groups such as The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg, Dry Cold Productions, and District Theatre Collective. She is presently a member of the Winnipeg Singers and alto soloist at St Andrews River Heights United Church. When she is not up to her ears in music, Nicki works for Ricki’s as a Merchandise Planner and is looking forward to biking around her new neighborhood this summer.
Baritone Matthew Pauls has been praised for his on-stage poise and magnificent singing (Opera Canada). Matthew's stage credits include, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Speaker and 2nd Armoured Man in Die Zauberflöte, Father Christmas in Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Don Inigo Gomez in L’Heure Espagnole, Benoit in La Bohème, Marullo in Rigoletto, the Mysterious Man in Sondheim's Into the Woods, Frank Maurant in Street Scene, and Masetto in Don Giovanni, which he performed with UWOpera and La Musica Lirica in Italy. On the concert stage, Matthew has performed numerous works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast and Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Fauré’s Requiem, Ramirez’s Misa Criolla, Grieg’s Four Psalms, J. S. Bach’s cantatas Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! (BWV 70), Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild (BWV 79), Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott (BWV 80), Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106), and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Five Mystical Songs.
Matthew has been delighted to perform as a featured soloist with ensembles such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Paraguay, Canadian Chamber Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Winnipeg Singers, Guelph Chamber Choir, Windsor Classic Chorale, and the Windsor Symphony Chorus.
Raymond Sokalski was born in Treaty 1 territory, and taught history and Asian studies in the Immersion française program for thirty years with the Winnipeg School Division. He has appeared in several roles with the Little Opera Company of Winnipeg (incl. Lilas Pastia in La Tragédie de Carmen, Omar Khayam in Kismet). A member of the Manitoba Opera Chorus since 1991, Raymond has also sung with the Winnipeg Singers, Camerata Nova, and the Calgary Opera Chorus and has performed with the Junction Players and Rainbow Stage. He enjoys leading bike tours of historic sites and markers in Winnipeg and reading the news on radio station CJNU, and is thrilled to join Underground Opera for this innovative production.
Susan McCallum, violin
Elly Hooker, viola
Ari Hooker, piano
Liana Fonseca, violin
Yuri Hooker, cello
Meredith Johnson, double bass