"A figurative and literal journey into imaginative opera landscapes" - Opera Canada

Can love survive the cruelty of high school politics?

Purcell’s classic opera Dido and Aeneas is paired with Canadian composer James Rolfe’s Aeneas and Dido to create a fascinating double bill that explores both sides of this tragic love story. Performed in the gymnasium at Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, our production puts the famous couple in a modern high school environment where their relationship is threatened by bullying and gossip.

Sung in English 

Composed by Henry Purcell and James Rolfe 

Librettos by Nahum Tate and Andre Alexis

 Performance is 120 minutes long including one 15 minute intermission 

August 16, 20, 23

Broadway Neighbourhood Centre

185 Young St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1Y8 

All performances at 7:30pm 

Early Bird Tickets (until July 15th):

$20 adults / $17 seniors and arts workers / $10 students

Regular  Price (July 16th and later):

$25 adults / $22 seniors and arts workers / $15 students

Creative Team


Adam Da Ros, Director

Stage director Adam Da Ros is delighted to return to MUO after premiering an original adaptation of Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as part of the 2017 Festival. Adam recently completed his first season as Resident Artist Stage Director at Minnesota Opera, and is an alumnus of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program at Vancouver Opera, where he also worked in the Artistic Planning department for several seasons.

Recent directing credits include Il barbiere di Siviglia and Madama Butterfly for Burnaby Lyric Opera, Un ballo in maschera with Opera Mariposa and Heroic Opera, and the Vancouver Opera in Schools tour of Dean Burry’s The Scorpion’s Sting. Adam has also worked as an assistant director, assistant conductor, pianist, and administrator at various summer festivals, including Des Moines Metro Opera (Summer 2019), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and Opera NUOVA.

In the 2019-2020 season, Adam continues his residency at Minnesota Opera, assisting on all mainstage productions and working with the singers of the resident artist program.

Dr. Alexandra Dee, Conductor

Alexandra Dee is the newly appointed Director of Orchestral Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her previous positions include Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, Music Director and Conductor of Chicago's South Loop Symphony Orchestra, and a Cover Conductor for the Joffrey Ballet, with whom she debuted in 2017, leading an opening week of performances with the Chicago Philharmonic on one day’s notice. Also at home in the opera pit, Dr. Dee was Guest Conductor for Northwestern University Opera Theater’s 2016 Chicago premiere of John Musto’s opera Later the Same Evening, and in August 2018 she served as Guest Conductor for Don Giovanni at Manitoba Underground Opera (Winnipeg). Internationally, she has conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Orkney Conductors Course in Scotland and the Dulwich International Music Academy's Festival Orchestra in Beijing, China. 

Dr. Dee completed her doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she studied with Victor Yampolsky and led performances with the University Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theater, and Baroque Music Ensemble. She is an alumna of the Florida State University College of Music, where she completed both a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education. While at FSU, Dr. Dee studied conducting with Dr. Alexander Jiménez, choral conducting with André Thomas, and violin with Corinne Stillwell. Her conducting positions at FSU included founding Music Director and Conductor of the Campus Orchestra, a string orchestra geared toward non-music majors from across the university community. In addition to her formal studies, Dr. Dee has attended conducting workshops and festivals at such institutions as the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK.  A consistent advocate for contemporary music, Dr. Dee has performed and premiered numerous works by living composers. In particular, she is a vigorous champion of the works of her husband, composer Roger Zare. 


Meaghan Fletcher, Stage Manager

Meaghan has worked with the Black Hole Theatre Company in Winnipeg; managing Pith by Stewart Lemoine last year and Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. In the past few months she has assistant stage managed RMTC's Lawyers Play, Mamma Mia; as well as travelling out to Edmonton to Stage Manage five shows for Opera Nuova. Meaghan recently graduated from the University of Manitoba as a voice major in The Desautels Faculty of Music, where she studied under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. She also received a minor in theatre, with focus on stage management. Meaghan has performed in many professional roles around Winnipeg including: Rebecca Gibbs in Our Town (RMTC), Creamer in Beauty and the Beast (Rainbow Stage), Children’s Chorus in La Boheme (Manitoba Opera), and Hanna in Jason and Hanna (Manitoba Opera). Most recently Meaghan appeared in Masterclass as Sharon Graham at Opera Nuova. 



Elizabeth Hoyt-Surdhar, Dido

Mezzo soprano, Elizabeth Hoyt-Surdhar is a recent graduate from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl. The 2018 Flipside Opera Competition Winner and Judges Choice Award recipient, she has performed with Concordia Symphony Orchestra (Berlioz, Les nuits d’été), Symphony of the Kootenays (Canadian Folk Sketches), and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra (Celtic Christmas), and has given recitals for the Edmonton Recital Society, St. Albert Chamber Music Society, and Arts on 817 Concert Series. Previous opera roles include Suor Zelatrice (Puccini, Suor Angelica), Junon (Offenbach, Orphée aux Enfers) and Dritte Knabe (Mozart, Die Zauberflöte) with Manitoba Underground Opera as well as the mezzo-soprano roles for Flipside Opera’s Greeriad production. Ms. Hoyt-Surdhar is also a multi-award winning songwriter and singer in the genres of Celtic and folk (Lizzy Hoyt). A Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, she tours throughout the country with her trio.

Paul Winkelmans, Aeneas

Originally from Victoria, BC, baritone Paul Winkelmans completed his studies at the University of Manitoba and McGill University before moving to Toronto in 2017. His recent opera roles include Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Manitoba Underground Opera), Frank in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Opera McGill), and Melisso in Handel’s Alcina (Opera McGill). Highlights of his concert work include singing as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, and Fauré’s Requiem. He is currently working as a freelance singer in Toronto, ON, where he has sung with Opera Atelier, The Elmer Iseler Singers, The Amadeus Choir, MYOpera, FAWN Chamber Creative, Shoestring Opera, and Aspirare vocal collective.


Meghan Symon, Sorceress/Goat

Meghan Symon is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto where studied under Canadian Soprano, Mary Morrison. Recent engagements include Fenena in Verdi's NABUCCO and Smeaton in Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA (Opera by Request). She appeared as Hansel in HANSEL AND GRETEL (Tryptych Opera) where she was praised for her “warm, velvety mezzo-soprano, effective acting and stage presence." (Stage Door). Past highlights include Zia Principessa in Puccini’s SUOR ANGELICA (MUO) and alto soloist in Mealor’s THE FARTHEST SHORE (Orpheus Choir Toronto). Previous roles include Le Prince in Massenet’s CENDRILLON, Annio in LA CLEMENZA DI TITO (MUO), the title role in Handel’s RINALDO and Cherubino in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (UMO). She debuted the role of Genevieve in Jodin’s new opera MAI 68’ (Winnipeg New Music Festival). Miss Symon has sung with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate as the alto soloist in Jenkins’ THE ARMED MAN: A Mass for Peace and in Sveinsson’s CREDO. 

Karen Santos, Belinda/Anna

Karen Santos is a versatile soprano known for her rich tone and passion for the stage. Born and raised in Mexico City, Karen has lived in Canada for fourteen years. She has performed leading roles such as Angela (Angela and her Sisters), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Laetitia (The Old Maid and the Thief), and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel). Karen made her Carnegie Hall debut in July of 2017 with the Manhattan Opera Studio. She also performed in the Festival de Ópera en Oaxaca in her native country, singing Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, under the mentorship of the celebrated Mexican mezzo-soprano, Grace Echauri.

Also an accomplished visual artist, Karen received a Fine Arts Degree from UBC in Visual Arts, and completed her Voice Performance Degree at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Karen began her Master’s of Music at the University of Manitoba to study with Monica Huisman and this fall she will be singing the title role of Handel’s Rodrigo as part of the Desautels Faculty of Music Chamber Opera.


Sydney Clarke, Spirit/Mercury

Sydney Clarke is a versatile and promising new talent on the classical music scene. This soprano is a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba’s Desautel Faculty of Music under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl.  She is also a graduate of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music (GGS) in Toronto. 

This past summer, Sydney performed the role of DONNA ANNA in Manitoba Underground Opera’s (MUO) production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She has also performed the role of FIRST LADY in Opera Nuova’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and SOPRANO 1 in Opera Nuova’s production of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class. Sydney has recently performed as the soprano soloist for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s staged production of Carmina Burana, by Carl Orff. She has also performed the role of ELETTRA in MUO’s production of Idomeneoby Mozart, and was also the soloist for MTS Rising Stars’ performance of Carmina Burana with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Sydney has most recently won first place in the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg’s 2019 Scholarship Competition. 

This summer, Sydney will once again be performing at the NUOVA festival in Edmonton, playing the role of HELENA in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sydney currently holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba’s Desautel Faculty of Music and a Bachelor Degree of Music from Thompson Rivers University in association with GGS. She is currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, continuing to perform and teach voice. 

Olivia Kang, First Witch

Olivia Kang received her B. Mus in voice from the University of Seoul in 2010. During her undergraduate work, Olivia earned high-ranking roles in multiple operas, including performances in Die Fledermaus and Gianni Schicchi. After her graduation, she worked as a music instructor for both children and adults, but in 2012, she decided to move to Victoria, BC to make a life for herself in Canada. Here, she studied with famed Canadian sopranos Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. As an active member of Victoria's musical community, Olivia has performed as Despina in Cosi fan tutte from VCM opera studio. Also she has performed as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Schubert's Mass in G, Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass and she had sung with the Pacific Opera Chorus for the 2017/18 season. Olivia is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at University of Manitoba, where she is studying with Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl.


Nicki Kirton, Second Witch

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, Past President of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Winnipeg Board of Directors, and current Treasurer on the MUO Board of Directors. When she is not up to her ears in music, Nicki works for Ricki’s Head Office as a Merchandise Planner and nurtures a newfound love of distance running.  

Rebecca Genge, Second Woman

Rebecca Genge is a Toronto-based soprano, originally from Victoria BC. She performs frequently in both cities, with ensembles such as Theatre of Early Music, University of Toronto’s Schola Cantorum, the Elora Singers, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and the Victoria Baroque Players. In 2017 she made her operatic debut as Papagena in the Magic Flute with Pacific Opera Victoria and returned to the company as Jano in Janacek’s Jenufa in October. As an avid choral singer, she has been a part of several recordings including Trinity Choir’s Four Thousand Winter for SONY, on which she is a featured soloist. Rebecca is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Historical Performance at the University of Toronto.