2007/08 A Season for Celebration
The 2007/08 season will mark the 35th year that Manitoba Opera has presented the great works of opera for Manitoban audiences. Though founded in 1969, the company did not present its first work until 1972, a concert version of Verdi’s Il Trovatore which featured a 200-voice choir and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. It must have been a night to remember and was an auspicious beginning for a fledgling company eager to bring the world’s most captivating art form to the prairies.
Anniversaries are a wonderful time to celebrate the past and to dream about the future. In planning this season, we wanted to share with the community the past successes of Manitoba Opera, as well as the possibilities of the future. To accomplish this we will be staging an enduring favourite by one of the undisputed masters of opera: Giuseppe Verdi; presenting a major new work that will place Manitoban artists at the front and centre; and showcasing our phenomenal chorus in a concert.
Manitoba Opera was founded on the seminal works of the world’s great composers and we’re very pleased to honour that past with one of Verdi’s best-loved operas: La Traviata. The lovely and talented soprano, Yali-Marie Williams, winner of the 1999 Placido Domingo Operalia Competition will sing the role of the tragic heroine, Violetta Valery. She will be joined by Winnipeg’s own Kurt Lehmann as her lover, Alfredo, and Ted Baerg as Giorgio Germont. Our Music Advisor and Principal Conductor, Tyrone Paterson, will conduct this heartbreakingly beautiful opera.
With the world premiere of Transit of Venus in November 2007, Manitoba Opera will join the ranks of a small, but growing number of opera companies who are presenting new operas. Transit of Venus will mark the first time Manitoba Opera has commissioned a full-length opera for the main stage. Composed by former Winnipegger, Victor Davies, with the libretto by Maureen Hunter and based on her play of the same name, Transit of Venus is a beautiful love story of destiny and desire. I was lucky enough to direct the play’s world premiere in 1992, and it remains one of the best experiences of my career. We are proud to be one of the leading companies in North America to contribute to the ongoing vitality of the art form through the creation of new works. This is sure to be a milestone event in the company’s history.
Our concert will continue the celebration with a look back at three and a half decades of opera in Manitoba. It will also pay special tribute to our dedicated chorus with whom Manitoba Opera could not have succeeded these last 35 seasons. It will be conducted by Manitoba Opera Chorus Director, Tadeusz Biernacki, who has an anniversary of his own this season — 25 years with the company.
Our 2007/08 season is adventurous and ambitious, tender and beautiful, and is filled with desire, love, and loss. It’s a season of unforgettable opera that you won’t want to miss and we hope you can join us.
Manitoba Opera today announced that celebrated Canadian lyric baritone, Russell Braun, will head the all-star cast of artists who will be featured in the world premiere of Transit of Venus, an opera based on the internationally acclaimed play of the same name by Maureen Hunter which has been commissioned by Manitoba Opera for its 35th season and will run November 24, 27, and 30, 2007, at the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg. (more...)
Manitoba Opera has moved!