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

Can roses exist without thorns?

Conceived by General Manager Brendan McKeen, this Handel oratorio comes to life in the cre8ery gallery. Torn between a life of frivolity or altruism, Beauty's fate depends on the decisions she is about to make. Will she choose pleasure or purpose?

Sung in Italian with English Dialogue 

Composed by G. F. Handel

Libretto by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili 

Adapted by Brendan McKeen

 Performance is 95 minutes long including one 15 minute intermission 

August 17, 22, 24

cre8ery gallery

125 Adelaide Street, Winnipeg, MB R3A 0W4 

All performances at 7:30pm 

Early Bird Price (until July 15th):
$20 general / $17 seniors and arts workers / $10 students
Regular Price (July 16th and later):
$25 general / $22 seniors and arts workers / $15 students 



Brendan McKeen, Conductor

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.

Sawyer Craig, Beauty

Sawyer Craig originally hails from Edmonton, Alberta. A love of singing and drama led her from local choirs and festivals to pursue her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia, which she received with honours in 2015. During her time in Vancouver, she discovered a passion for opera, and was lucky to be able to explore her craft through a number of different roles. A particular favourite was the chicken, Chocholka, in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (who has perhaps the best death scene ever written). Sawyer recently finished her Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Monica Huisman at the University of Manitoba. She has enjoyed participating in a wide variety of projects while in Winnipeg. Recent highlights include portraying La Musique in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants, being chosen as a winner of the University’s Concerto Competition, and directing a scene from le nozze di Figaro with the U of M’s Opera Ensemble. Sawyer is immensely grateful to be part of Manitoba Underground’s 2019 festival as both a singer and a director this year, and is so looking forward to telling stories both onstage and off. 


Carmen Harris, Pleasure

Since singing in children's choirs at the age of seven, Carmen Harris has enjoyed immersing herself in the world of vocal studies. She is currently completing her Master of Music at the University of Ottawa, studying with Christiane Riel. Carmen recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Post-Baccalaureate in Voice through the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, studying with Monica Huisman. Past performances include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Susanna and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with the University of Ottawa, Musetta in La Boheme, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Kelowna, Drusilla in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Venus in Orphée aux Enfers with Manitoba Underground Opera, and Angela in Angela and her Sisters with the University of Manitoba School Tour. Besides opera, she has been blessed to tour throughout Europe and North America with ensembles and has sung as a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia.


Yujene Oh, Truth

Yujene Oh, a Toronto-based mezzo soprano, discovered her passion for stage performance and began training at an early age. She continued her classical voice studies at the University of Toronto where she received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance.  She placed first in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions in Ontario several times during her years in university and has since won several awards, including taking the Gold award in the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival and Royal Conservatory of Music Regional competition. In Toronto, she worked with Toronto Operetta Theatre, COSA Canada, and Tapestry Opera where she performed at the world premiere of Oksana G. After she finished her studies, she became one of the Emerging  Artists in Calgary Opera their 2018-2019 season. Her recent roles include the world premiere of Philipa, the Ghost in Ghost Opera (Old Trout Puppet Workshop), Page in Rigoletto (Calgary Opera), Juno in Semele, La Badessa in Suor Angelica, and recently covered Stephano (Roméo and Juliette) at Calgary Opera.  


Adam Sperry, Time

Adam Sperry grew up immersed in the choral culture in Manitoba and has developed a passion for opera, oratorio and art song during his time at both the Canadian Mennonite University and The University of Manitoba. Recent highlights include performing as Don Ottavio in Southern Ontario Lyric Opera’s production of Don Giovanni (2019), singing with the Schooner Cove Singers out of Parksville BC (2019), Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (2018) and the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo (2017) with Manitoba Underground Opera, tenor soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the University of Manitoba Singers (2017), tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (2018), and tenor soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespers with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (2017). Adam currently resides in Montreal studying with tenor John Mac Master and will begin his MMus at the Schulich School of Music this coming fall.