Canadian composer Ana Sokolovic's Svadba explores the joy and nostalgia a bride feels as she prepares to embark on the next chapter of her life. In Bluebeard's Castle, Judith faces the aftermath of her wedding to the mysterious Bluebeard. In this adventurous double bill, the events of Svadba represent Judith's memories and inner turmoil. Judith appears alone on stage, but is surrounded by video projections of the other performers.
Haunted both by her own memories and the towering specter of Bluebeard himself, she begins to understand how she arrived in her present circumstances. Did the idea of the perfect wedding cause her to overlook her reservations about her new husband?
Svadba by Ana Sokolovic
By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
Bluebeard's Castle by Béla Bartók with libretto by Béla Balázs, translated into English
*** Performance start times have recently changed ***
August 25 at 8:15pm
and August 27 at 8:30pm
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Performances are approximately 75 minutes long with no intermission.
$15/student & arts worker
*NEW* $20/livestream (only available August 27)
Svadba is sung in Serbian.
Bluebeard's Castle is sung in English.
Sarah Jane Pelzer is a stage director and performance maker based in Vancouver, BC. She has directed, assisted and taught across Canada at Vancouver, Edmonton, and Manitoba Opera, Opera on the Avalon, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Kelowna, the Victoria Conservatory and the VSO School of Music.
This past spring, she attended a Leighton Artist’s Residency at the Banff Center for the Performing Arts with soprano Teiya Kasahara to develop a methodology for collaborative opera creation.
Prior to her transition to the opera world, Sarah was a performer and theatre-maker most known as artistic associate and co-founder of the experimental performance company SNAFU Dance Theatre. With SNAFU, she co-created and performed in several pieces that blurred the lines between dance, puppetry, clown and ceremony.
In November 2020, Sarah co-founded Lucky Penny Opera, a company dedicated to exploring alternative models for creating opera performances.
A native of Montreal, Kimberley-Ann Bartczak is a conductor, pianist and vocal coach. She is currently the Principal Coach and Accompanist at Pacific Opera Victoria, and also the Associate Artistic Director at Manitoba Underground Opera. She was the Resident Conductor and Repetiteur at Calgary Opera, was on staff at Opera on the Avalon, an alumna of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program and has performed coast to coast across Canada as well as in the United States, Mexico and Europe. Recent appearances include: Music Director for the world premiere of Veronika Krausas' Ghost Opera at Calgary Opera, Stephanie Martin's Llandovery Castle with Bicycle Opera Project, and principal coach for Elizabeth Raum's Garden of Alice at Pacific Opera Victoria.
Meaghan is thrilled to be back with Manitoba Underground Opera having previously stage managed for 2019 season. Meaghan has also worked with the Black Hole Theatre Company in Winnipeg; managing Pith by Stewart Lemoine and Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen. Meaghan has also 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 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), Sharon Graham in Masterclass (Opera Nuova.)
Dawn Bruch-Wiens completed her Bachelors of Music in voice at McGill University. The singer returned to Winnipeg and graduated with her Post-Baccalaureate and Masters of Music degree at The University of Manitoba where she studied with Tracy Dahl. As a “mesmorizing” singer with “effervescent vocal agility” (Opera Canada), Dawn has appeared with Manitoba Opera (Ines in Il Trovatore, Mrs. Gleaton in Susannah and Countess Ceprano and Giovanna in Rigoletto), Manitoba Underground Opera (Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni), Lyric Opera Studio Weimar (Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro) and Opera on the Avalon (Lady Billows in Albert Herring).
Dawn has appeared in concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Groundswell, and Flipside Opera and Art Song Collective. She has taught private voice lessons for over 14 years and is also a voice instructor at Canadian Mennonite University. As a cofounder and Executive Director of Flipside Opera and Art Song Collective she believes that opera is for everyone whether it is performed in a bar, a home or a concert hall.
Praised for her “clear soprano voice” (Winnipeg Free Press), Treaty 1-based performer Jayne Hammond is an active member of the opera industry in Western Canada. She has appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Victoria Symphony, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Winnipeg, the Pacific Baroque Festival, Opera NUOVA, the Victoria Baroque Players, and Living Room Live. A passionate advocate for new music, Jayne was recently featured as a finalist in the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition with frequent duo partner Lisa Rumpel. Jayne regularly champions new Canadian works and has premiered compositions by Gordon Fitzell, David Foley, Kristen Wachniak, Rebekah Cummings, and Harley Dyck. One of Manitoba Underground Opera’s familiar faces, Jayne has been featured as the title role in L’incoronazione di Poppea, as Suor Infermiera in Suor Angelica, and in concert performances. Offstage, she is a Manitoba mentor for Opera InReach and the Vice-President of the board for Flipside Opera & Art Song Colle
Shannon Hiebert is highly regarded as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, conductor and music director. A native of Winnipeg, she began her studies at the University of Manitoba and went on to train at the Banff Centre with Martin Isepp and the University of Michigan, in the prestigious studio of world renowned pianist, Martin Katz. Much in demand as a collaborative artist, she has worked with such celebrated singers as Tracy Dahl, Measha Brueggergosman, John Tessier and Andriana Chuchman and has been heard in recital and broadcast across Canada and the United States as well as Europe, Taiwan and Japan. A diverse performer, Shannon has performed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Edmonton Opera, Groundswell and the Winnipeg Singers, Citadel Theatre and several musical theatre productions. Shannon has toured with Broadway Across Canada in productions of Mamma Mia, Spamalot and Wicked. In 2009, she joined the Toronto Company of Jersey Boys. Ms. Hiebert has acted as Music Director for Grant MacEwan University's Theatre Arts productions of Spring Awakening and A Little NIght Music. She has also provided musical direction for the Plain Jane Theatre Company's Sterling Award nominated productions of Fiorello, Little Fish, Mack and Mabel and A New Brain. In 2013 Shannon received a Sterling Award nomination for outstanding musical direction. A passionate teacher, Ms Hiebert has served on the faculties of the University of Manitoba, University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, Opera NUOVA, Calgary Opera's Artist Program and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) and Cantilon Choirs. Her students have gone on to universities and programs around the world including, Opera Merola, Chicago Lyric Opera (LOCA), Canadian Opera Company, Calgary Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Atelier, The Britten-Pears School, The Banff Centre, The Franz Schubert Institute, Tanglewood and Netherlands Opera Theatre. Many of her students now enjoy international performing careers.
Praised for his ‘smooth, rich timbre’ (Schmopera) and his ‘natural, committed acting’ (Opera Canada) ranging from ‘...chilling to the bone’ (Opera Canada) to a ‘...natural, comedic ease that allows him to anchor a cast,’ Albertan bass-baritone Ian Fundytus has performed on opera and musical theatre stages across Canada. An active performer, Ian has performed a wide variety of roles, from early operas such as Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca) to the operas of Mozart (Figaro, Il Commendatore, Guglielmo), Donizetti (Don Pasquale, Dr. Dulcamara), Rossini (Dr. Bartolo, Alidoro), Puccini (Colline, Schaunard), Richard Strauss (Truffaldino) Gilbert and Sullivan (Capt. Corcoran, Ruthven Murgatroyd/Robin Oakapple) and even to newer works such as Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (Rev. Olin Blitch) and Robert Bradshaw’s .Gabriel (Memory II).
Soprano Janice Marple completed her Masters of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Alberta. Currently based in Metro Vancouver, BC, she studies privately with teacher Marisa Gaetanne. Past opera roles with MUO include Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Despina in The Three Little Pigs, soloist in Female Fortitude, and soprano chorus soloist in Idomeneo. Her other operatic experience includes Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte (cover), Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, Atalanta in Handel’s Serse, First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Venus in Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers. She has also been featured as a Debut Soloist in VoiceScapes’ annual Sing Along Messiah in Calgary, as well as attending the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Opera on the Avalon Summer Music festival, and the Opera NUOVA Vocal Arts Festival. Ms. Marple placed first in the vocal category at the 2012 FCMF National Music Festival, and is the recipient of the Beryl Barns Memorial Graduate Award, Alberta Heritage Fund Scholarship, and Faculty of Graduate Studies Research and Travel Scholarships.
Praised as a “sophisticated artist” with a “gorgeous voice” and “stratospheric vocals” (Winnipeg Free Press), soprano Katherine Mayba is a dynamic artist. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she has performed with Manitoba Underground Opera as Ilia (Idomeneo), Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Lena (Svadba; upcoming), Manitoba Opera (Susannah, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, Madama Butterfly; Children’s Outreach Program), Opera NUOVA as Titania (The Fairy Queen), HSOF as Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute)and has made regular appearances with Flipside Opera. She has also performed as a soloist and toured with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Orville J. Derraugh Scholarship Competition. She has competed in the Winnipeg Music Festival winning several awards including the Rose Bowl. A proponent of contemporary music, Katherine enjoys collaborating with contemporary composers and musicians and was selected as an alternate for the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition finals. Katherine is involved in the Ukrainian Art Song Project and continues to promote these works in recital. Katherine is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and is a student of Tracy Dahl. A multidisciplinary musician, she holds her ARCT Performance Diploma in Voice, Piano and Violin from The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Murphy is passionate about bringing text to life through song. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kathleen is currently completing a Post-Bacc in Vocal Performance under the mentorship of Mel Braun at the University of Manitoba, where she received a B.Mus. in Piano as a student of David Moroz. Kathleen has performed multiple roles with the U of M Opera Theatre Ensemble, including Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas, 2021), Rosina (scenes from Il barbiere di Siviglia, 2021), Dorabella (scenes from Così fan tutte, 2020), and Moppet (scenes from Paul Bunyan, 2020). She has participated in masterclasses with Russell Braun, Tracy Dahl, Steven Philcox, Benjamin Butterfield, Marion Newman, Mark Wilson, Nancy Argenta, and others. An early music enthusiast, Kathleen was accepted to the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Baroque Soloists Summer Academy in 2020, and performed as the Alto Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church Choir in 2019. Kathleen was the inaugural recipient of the Manitoba Choral Association’s David. G.H. Waters Hymn Sing Award in 2020; her favourite choral experiences include premiering Andrew Balfour’s Fallen with Camerata Nova. Offstage, Kathleen enjoys collecting vintage records from the 1960’s and attempting to bake things.
Melanie Nicol graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and completed her Master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Manitoba. Her most memorable operatic roles include Nancy in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring with Opera Nuova, Ruggero in Handel’s Alcina with AEDO, Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito with Manitoba Underground Opera and Béatrice in Fraser Lyric Opera’s inaugural performance of Béatrice et Bénédict. Her most recent operatic engagement was Rosina in Fraser Lyric Opera’s performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia.
When she is not singing opera, Melanie is teaching her students and choirs the art of singing. She has taken choirs to the Young Prague Festival in the Czech Republic as well as the Cork International Choral Festival in Ireland. Melanie is the cofounder of Fraser Lyric Opera and owner of the Northern Vocal Arts Academy. She is thrilled to be singing with MUO again and hopes you enjoy Sokolović’s Svadba.
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), 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 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. She recently completed her Masters of Music at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, studying with Monica Huisman, Tracy Dahl, and Laura Loewen. In addition to this, Karen has studied under the distinguished tutelage of David L. Jones and esteemed soprano, Robyn Driedger-Klassen.