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Centre stage: Opera
Posted Monday, November 28, 2011 10:39 AM
Opera theatre students and the university orchestra at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music are collaborating for the first time ever in a condensed 90-minute version of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, which will take place November 30 and December 1 at St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church.

“Both the opera theatre and the university orchestra have a long history of fine music making in the community, and for years we’ve wanted to see such a collaboration within the faculty,” says Mel Braun, head of vocal studies. “With the orchestra currently under the direction of Richard Lee, WSO assistant conductor, we’ve finally been able to make this happen.”

Lee will be conducting and Katherine Twaddle, opera studies coordinator, has done the staging. Faculty professors Laura Loewen and Mel Braun have done the musical preparation of the outstanding cast. The production is fully costumed and staged with a minimalist set.

“The reason we chose Figaro was because we had the right group of student singers to make this happen. We’re fortunate to have such terrific singers and actors amongst our students, and they are doing a wonderful job,” adds Braun. Many voice students from the faculty have gone on to singing careers in the last few years, and the current group seems headed for the same future.

Nikki Einfeld, Andriana Chuchman, Ileana Montalbetti, Chris Enns and Catherine Daniel are some recent grads now doing significant professional work all over the world. Gregory Dahl, playing Jokannen in Manitoba Opera’s current show Salome, is another U of M alumnus and one of Canada’s busiest singers.

For the singers and instrumentalists, all of this is practice for 2014, when the faculty will open a new 500-seat theatre, complete with orchestra pit and proscenium. Future plans for the faculty include a full opera production with orchestra each year, as part of rapidly expanding vocal and orchestral programs.

The Marriage of Figaro plays for two nights only, November 30 and December 1, at St. Andrew’s United Church. Call 474-9310 or purchase tickets at the door.
For more information, contact:
Heather Madill
Program Assistant
Continuing Education
Phone: (204) 474-6700
Related Links (Internal):
  •Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music
  •The Marriage of Figaro