ALL THOSE ARIAS Production and Cast
LITTLEOPERA.CA
Open wide and say awe!
EPISODE 1
Spencer Duncanson, Artistic Director / Music Director Rob Herriot, Stage Director Sharon Bajer - Anita Mann
Sharon is an actress in film and theatre, playwright, director, acting coach and Intimacy Coordinator. During the pandemic she has been working on two new plays, With People with Winnipeg performer and writer Liam Zarrillo and Afterlight with composer/performer/multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cox. Sharon is featured in the film Run (currently streaming on Netflix) and you might spot her in the upcoming film Nobody with Bob Odenkirk. She was Intimacy Coordinator (and actor) on Orphan; First Kill shot here last fall. Sharon was recently nominated for 2 Manitoba ACTRA awards in the Actress categories for Escaping a Madhouse; The Nellie Bly Story and Wynter pilot. Sharon was the director of Strike! the musical at Rainbow Stage in 2019. She is a graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver and The Michael Langham Directing program at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Sharonbajer.com
Open wide and say awe!
Canadian stage director Rob Herriot’s career has taken him across North America. In the past year Rob has been very fortunate to have stayed busy. He directed At the Statue and of Venus and Bon Appetite for The Little Opera Company’s I Need Opera…and Dance that premiered in the fall of 2020. Earlier this year he wrote and directed a 6-part series called Opera School for Manitoba Opera. He has directed productions of Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, Carmen, Rigoletto and Don Pasquale (Manitoba Opera), Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale (Livermore Valley Opera) La Traviata, Don Pasquale (Opera Hamilton), Carmen, Don Pasquale (Arizona Opera), Don Pasquale (Connecticut Opera, Utah Opera) New productions of Rigoletto (2019) HMS Pinafore (2018) Hansel and Gretel, and Magic Flute. Other productions for Edmonton include Turandot, Pirates of Penzance, La Fille Du Regiment, HMS Pinafore (Edmonton Opera-winner of a Sterling Award for Outstanding Musical of the Season); Tosca, The Mikado, La Cenerentola, all nominated for the Sterling Award’s Best Musical Production of their year. For Calgary Opera he has directed productions of Tosca and Barber of Seville, both nominated for Betty Mitchell awards for Best Musical of 2009 and 2018 seasons, as well as La Boheme for the 40 th anniversary of the company. Other productions for Calgary include The Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance and Candide, as well as numerous shows for their Emerging Artists program. He created a touring production of Don Pasquale for Utah Opera which toured over three seasons and then produced it with the young artists of Tulsa Opera in 2005. He is currently a returning director for Opera Nuova, one of Canada’s young artist summer programs. As a teacher and mentor, he has directed productions of The Fairy Queen, Tartuffe Beatrice and Benedict, Don Giovanni, Oklahoma, La Boheme and Patience. Rob also directed productions of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella for Rainbow Stage. Rob wants to thank The Little Opera company for believing in this venture and working so hard to make it come to life.
Contestants
Joy Loewen - Ala Munny
Joy Loewen is a media industry executive with a passion for nurturing the development and promotion of storytellers. She is currently the CEO at the National Screen Institute, a not-for-profit training and mentoring organization that supports creators who change the world through the power of story. Joy is an active volunteer with leadership roles on several community and non-profit boards and councils including The Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba’s Order of Manitoba and Queen’s Council advisories. She also serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
Raymond Sokalski - Robin DeGraves
Raymond Sokalski has performed with the Manitoba Opera Chorus since 1990 and with the Winnipeg Singers for six seasons. He has portrayed Lillas Pastia and Le Guide (Carmen, Manitoba Opera), Luis (The Gondoliers, Gilbert & Sullivan Society), and numerous roles with Winnipeg’s Junction Players, including Jesus (Godspell), Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and Clarence (It’s a Wonderful Life). He has sung with the Calgary Opera Chorus, Rainbow Stage, and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. He first appeared with the Little Opera Company in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (2011), played Omar Khayyam in LOC’s Kismet (2016), and performed the dual role of Lillas Pastia/Garcia in La Tragédie de Carmen (2018).
Vocalists - Arias Va! Laisse couler mes larmes (Werther) LIZZY HOYT Signore Ascolta (Turandot) LARA CIEKIEWICZ Non piu mesta (La Cenerentola) LIZZY HOYT
LIzzy Hoyt, Mezzo-soprano Lara Ciekiewicz, Soprano
Winnipeg mezzo-soprano, Lizzy Hoyt is quickly making a name for herself as an engaging and profound performer with a warm, agile voice. A member of Manitoba Opera’s 2020 Emerging Artist Program, she was the 2018 Flipside Opera Competition winner and Judges Choice Award recipient. Ms. Hoyt is passionate about song repertoire and has performed with Concordia Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Kootenays and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. She has also given recitals for Skywalk Concerts (Virtuosi), Edmonton Recital Society, St. Albert Chamber Music Society and Arts on 817 Concert Series. Recent opera roles include Julia Child in Hoiby‘s Bon Appetit for Little Opera Company and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Manitoba Underground Opera where “her deeply felt performance infused the entire production with aching humanity” (Opera Canada). Other recent performances include Flipside Opera’s “Greeriad” and their “Echoes of Spain” concert in partnership with the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society. Ms. Hoyt is also a multi-award winning songwriter and singer in the genres of Celtic and folk. A Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, she tours throughout the country with her trio.
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing-actress. Her facility for fully transforming into a character, regardless of genre, has earned her the reputation of being an artistic chameleon. In addition to the title role in Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, the 2019-20 season saw Lara as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, and make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). As theatres reopen, upcoming projects include Musetta (La Bohème) for Edmonton Opera, Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company, rejoining the Victoria Symphony as a soloist for A Viennese New Years, a return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May (Ours), as well as an appearance with the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival. Select additional credits include: title role, Jenůfa; Amelia, Simon Boccanegra (Pacific Opera Victoria); Tatyana, Eugene Onegin (Calgary Opera); Countess, Le nozze di Figaro (Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera); May, Ours; Cinderella, Into the Woods; Maria, The Sound of Music (Opera on the Avalon); Micaëla, Carmen (Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Opera Kelowna, Opera Lyra Ottawa); Musetta, La Bohème (Manitoba Opera, Opéra de Montréal); Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta Theatre). Lara is a voice instructor with the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Masters in Music (Opera) from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts - Honours (Voice) from the University of Winnipeg. She is an alumna of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, the Banff Centre, and Opera NUOVA. She also enjoys gardening, is an avid walker, loves fabulous footwear, and is a self- professed prairie-girl forever. https://www.deanartists.com/lara-ciekiewicz
Vocalists - Excerpts
Tracy Dahl, Coloratura Soprano
Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl, has appeared throughout her career with such esteemed opera companies as the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe and Calgary operas; the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). The “incredible Canadian soprano,” known for her agility and vocal range, values education alongside her impressive performing career as a Professor of Voice at the University of Manitoba. Tracy Dahl’s recent engagement highlights included appearances with Regina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company in Cosi fan tutte. She has recently performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony in Carmina Burana and the Vancouver Symphony in Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. She also recently appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s Candide Suite, and sung in a dual program with Adrianna Chuchman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Her past opera successes include Despina in Così fan tutte with Canadian Opera Company; Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera; the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; the world premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Cunegonde in Candide and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Calgary Opera; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Among her many notable debuts are Adele in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, where she later returned as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestine in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow; as well as Olympia in the San Francisco Opera production of Les contes d’Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo, where she returned as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On concert stages, Tracy Dahl’s many appearances include an evening of Gershwin songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Cleveland Orchestra at The Blossom Festival; the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; Vail Summer Music Festival; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Monterey Symphony; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with both San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). Born in Winnipeg, Tracy Dahl commenced her vocal training at age 12, and had her heart set on a career in musical theatre. During her studies at the Banff Centre, she successfully debuted as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Manitoba Opera. Under the guidance of Mary Morrison and Martin Isepp, Dahl developed her career in opera, ultimately performing with world renowned symphonies, orchestras, and opera companies. In July 2017, Tracy Dahl had the high honor of being appointed to the Order of Canada for her accomplishments as an opera singer and for her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian singers.
Spargi d’amaro pianto (Lucia) TRACY DAHL C’est le dieu (Lakme) ROB HERRIOT Hai jo hotoho (Die Walkure) DAWN BRUCH-WIENS
Dawn Bruch-Wiens
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.
Stage Manager: Kathryn Ball Video Editor: Compass Digital – Ivan Hughes RMTC Digital Studio: Video Technician – Jacqueline Robertson RMTC Digital Studio: Sound Technician – Chris Brett Prop build: Wood FX – George Duseigne Promotions: Heather Milne Webmaster: Don Larsen Graphic Designer: Miles Linklater With the support of Manitoba Opera Special thanks to the following funding organizations for their support of The Little Opera Company’s vision for opera: Canada Council for the Arts Gail Asper Family Foundation, Inc Manitoba Arts Council The Winnipeg Foundation Winnipeg Arts Council Thanks to: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Manitoba Opera ACTRA – Rob Macklin Christine Corthey (RMTC) Jeff Francis (Transportation)
Collaborating Pianists
Production
Deena Grier Michael Oike
During her undergraduate studies as a solo pianist, Canadian pianist Deena Grier (she/her) was introduced to the world of accompanying and began to focus on collaborating with singers in particular, igniting a passion for both the written word and exploring other languages. Ms. Grier completed her graduate studies as an Opera Major at The Boston Conservatory, playing as a rehearsal pianist for operas including Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen and Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and joined the orchestra pit for the recitatives in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Deena’s return to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada has found her in the role of music director often, premiering Michael McKay’s The Confused Castrato with Little Opera Company, and both conducting and performing Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Manitoba Underground Opera). Much in demand both as a collaborator and vocal coach, Ms. Grier continues to spread her reputation as a sensitive musician and skilled diction coach, currently working with singers near and far to hone their craft and spread the joy of vocal music.
Pianist MICHAEL OIKE enjoys a busy and diverse musical life in his hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba. For over 30 years he has taught piano to students of all ages, given workshops & masterclasses, and adjudicated at music festivals all across Canada. Michael performs in chamber music ensembles and as vocal and instrumental pianist. Michael’s training includes solo piano studies with Alice Nakauchi & Sydney McInnis, in Toronto with Boris Lysenko where he received the University of Toronto Forsythe Scholarship as the outstanding graduating pianist. In addition, Michael was fortunate to work with the reknowned pedagogue Jeaneane Dowis at her New York studio and twice as a chamber music fellow at the Waterloo Festival (Princeton University), and seminars with Rudolf Jansen and Martin Isepp (Aldeburgh School in England and Academy of Singing at Banff), two of the leading pianists in the field of vocal accompanying. Away from music Michael enjoys golfing, curling, biking, cheering for the Jets, Raiders and Blue Jays, and tinkering in the kitchen perfecting his blueberry pies, butter tarts and sushi.
When Rob Herriot came to me with the preliminary idea of reformatting a recital by embedding the repertoire into the framework of an opera quiz, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only had I been a fan of the Saturday Afternoon at the Opera Quiz that was hosted by the late Stuart Hamilton, but I was also well acquainted with the many brilliant projects that were manifestations of Rob’s creativity. “All Those Arias” is a well-designed, well scripted and directed production that is both entertaining and informative. Our cast of contestants is stellar as they strive to answer the challenging questions posed by our brilliant host Vic Trolla; the contestants bring a vast array of knowledge from various sectors of the world of arts and culture. But the question remains, “Who best knows “All Those Arias”? As if the quiz and witty repartee aren’t enough, we are especially pleased to offer nine full arias by five of Winnipeg’s most celebrated singers: Dawn Bruch, Lara Ciekiewicz, Lizzy Hoyt, Andrea Lett, and the incomparable Tracy Dahl. You will marvel at the beauty, artistry and ease of delivery of these fine artists. All in all, “All Those Arias” is all I hoped it would be. Now, I hope you will join our contestants in assessing your operatic knowledge and tantalizing your ears with this bell canto experience!
Kathryn is thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on this fun project during a time when the arts are needed most! This is her first show with Little Opera Company. She has stage managed around Winnipeg at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera, Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has also had the opportunity to work at the Globe Theatre in Regina and the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. She can't wait to see you in a live audience soon!
Kathryn Ball, Stage Manager
EPISODE 2
Lara Secord-Haid - Sally Forth
Ms. Secord-Haid is enjoying a diverse and dynamic international career. Recent performances include, Governess in Turn of the Screw with Nashville Opera, Sophie in Werther with Manitoba Opera, a concert in the Jeonju International Sori Festival in Korea and a concert at Opera Helikon in Moscow, a 15-city operatic concert tour throughout China, Cendrillon in Cendrillon (New York Lyric Opera), a solo concert with Opera San Miguel (San Miguel, Mexico), Marsinah in Kismet (Little Opera Winnipeg), Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Opera on the Avalon) Marzelline in Fidelio (Manitoba Opera), 3 Settings of Celan by Harrison Birtwistle with the AXIOM Ensemble at Lincoln Center, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario (North Shore Music Festival), and Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Opera on the Avalon). Additional roles include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Manhattan Opera Studio), Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Manhattan Opera Studio) Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Banff Center), Giulia in La Scala di Seta (Juilliard) as well as the Woodpecker in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Juilliard). On the concert stage, Ms. Secord-Haid has delved with keen interest into the study and performance of contemporary works. She performed an Alice Tully Hall premier of Ritual by Alessandro Iglesias Rossi and works of John Cage with both The New Juilliard Ensemble and Banff Centre with the resident new music ensemble conducted by Joel Sachs. She also performed Handel's Messiah and Verdi's Requiem with the Orchestra at Shelter Rock and sang featured works of Granados, R. Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov in recital. In 2018 Ms. Secord-Haid sang a concert at Linz Operin Linz, Austria and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Greenwich Chorale Society. In 2019 she sings Jessie Anderson in the new opera No One’s Safe by Lizée and Ivany and workshops a new production of Silent Light by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Royce Vavrek, directed by Thaddeus Strassberger at the Banff Festival. She also made her role debut as Michaela in La Tragedie de Carmen with City Lyric Opera and appeared as a soloist in a Salute to Bernstein with Little Opera Winnipeg. She holds a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from The New England Conservatory of Music. She was a fellow at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, attended Highlands Opera Studio, the Banff Center, the Conservatoire de Nice summer academy and the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium.
Contestants
Rory Runnells - Justin Case
Rory Runnells is a Winnipeg writer. For 34 years, he was Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights (1983-2017). During Rory’s tenure, the Manitoba Association of Playwrights helped develop notable Manitoba writers such as Sharon Bajer, Rick Chafe, Ginny Collins, Tricia Cooper, Brian Drader, Maureen Hunter, Bruce McManus, Ellen Peterson, and two Governor General’s Award winners, Ian Ross and Vern Thiessen. Other notable achievements during Rory’s tenure include a series of Canada-Denmark playwright exchanges; the wildly successful Scirocco Drama High School Playwriting Contest; the Harry Rintoul Award for Best Manitoba Play at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival; the Reg Skene Award for Emerging Theatre Artist; and the establishment of a library/archive/theatre resource centre which houses important documents related to Manitoba theatre and playwrights. In addition to being an arts administrator, Runnells also works as a writer, editor, and independent theatre producer. He is a regular contributor to Manitoba Opera’s house program, and he co-wrote the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s 50th anniversary history book. He is currently Drama Editor for Prairie Fire, and has edited two collections of Manitoba plays. In 2008, Rory received the Making A Difference Award from the Winnipeg Arts Council. His production of Harold Pinter’s Old Times played to critical acclaim at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. He produced the Winnipeg premiere of Vern Thiessen’s Shakespeare Will for Shakespeare Fest in 2020. That production won for its director, Eric Blais, an Evie Award, and it will be filmed by Shakespeare in the Ruins in the fall of 2021.
Joseph Sevillo - Dwayne Pipe
Joseph Sevillo is a professional triple threat stage performer, choreographer, musical theatre teacher at Shelley Shearer and MTYP, creator of MA-BUHAY! MUSICAL and an artist in residence with Rainbow Stage and founding director for RISE MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY which is the education in residence at Prairie Theatre Exchange. He was born and raised in Winnipeg. He has 24 years of professional musical theatre experience performing on stages all across North America. Joseph is excited to share his passion and experience with our students. He is a proud member of the Canadian Actors Equity Association. You may have seen him as Angel in Rent, Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat, or Chino in Westside Story at Rainbow Stage. He has a passion for teaching and performing in children’s theatre and has been an associate choreographer for stage shows such as the Bubble Guppies, Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, Franklin the Turtle, Dora the Explorer and Strawberry Shortcake under the mentorship of Patti Caplette (Koba Entertainment). He was also the choreographer for Hugh and I (Bad Neighbour Productions Toronto) and Rooms a Rock Romance Musical (Winnipeg Studio Theatre). Other favorite performing credits include: Angelo in Danny King of the Basement (MTYP), Jojo in the Canadian Premiere of Seussical The Musical (Young People’s Theatre Toronto), Mark in Altar Boyz (Winnipeg Studio Theatre and Prairie Theatre Exchange), Beauty and the Beast (Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary), Evita, The Wave , Billy Elliot (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Theatre Calgary), Prison Dancer (San Francisco International Asian Film Festival), Mamma Mia (Mirvish Productions), Miss Saigon (Drayton Festival), Aladdin Jr (Silvermist Productions) Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Cinderella, Rent, Mamma Mia, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Fame, Westside, Joseph Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line, South Pacific (Rainbow Stage), and The Bridge (Danny Schur).
Vocalists - Arias Je veux vivre (Roméo et Juliette) ANDREA LETT Ebben! Ne andro lontana (La Wally) DAWN BRUCH Volta la Terrea (The Masked Ball) TRACY DAHL
Andrea Lett, Soprano
Praised for her "clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights" (Opera Canada), soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in the classical music scene across Canada. Ms. Lett’s roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Manitoba Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (Saskatoon Opera), and both Queen of the Night and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Manitoba Underground Opera). Lett covered the role of Gilda in Edmonton Opera’s 2019 production of Rigoletto, and covered the role of Adele as an apprentice singer in Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 production of Die Fledermaus. Ms Lett was then engaged at San Francisco Opera as a principal cover for the role Ah Sing for the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West. Ms Lett won the CBC Young Artist’s Development Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2018 Canadian Opera Company’s Center Stage Gala, and was later recorded a the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and featured on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
Dawn Bruch-Wiens
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.
Tracy Dahl, Coloratura Soprano
Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl, has appeared throughout her career with such esteemed opera companies as the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe and Calgary operas; the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). The “incredible Canadian soprano,” known for her agility and vocal range, values education alongside her impressive performing career as a Professor of Voice at the University of Manitoba. Tracy Dahl’s recent engagement highlights included appearances with Regina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company in Cosi fan tutte. She has recently performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony in Carmina Burana and the Vancouver Symphony in Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. She also recently appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s Candide Suite, and sung in a dual program with Adrianna Chuchman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Her past opera successes include Despina in Così fan tutte with Canadian Opera Company; Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera; the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; the world premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Cunegonde in Candide and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Calgary Opera; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Among her many notable debuts are Adele in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, where she later returned as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestine in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow; as well as Olympia in the San Francisco Opera production of Les contes d’Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo, where she returned as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On concert stages, Tracy Dahl’s many appearances include an evening of Gershwin songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Cleveland Orchestra at The Blossom Festival; the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; Vail Summer Music Festival; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Monterey Symphony; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with both San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). Born in Winnipeg, Tracy Dahl commenced her vocal training at age 12, and had her heart set on a career in musical theatre. During her studies at the Banff Centre, she successfully debuted as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Manitoba Opera. Under the guidance of Mary Morrison and Martin Isepp, Dahl developed her career in opera, ultimately performing with world renowned symphonies, orchestras, and opera companies. In July 2017, Tracy Dahl had the high honor of being appointed to the Order of Canada for her accomplishments as an opera singer and for her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian singers.
Vocalists -Excerpts Parto, parto (La Clemenza di Tito) LIZZY HOYT Tu che di gel (Turandot) LARA CIEKIEWICZ O Sainte Médaille (Faust) SPENCER DUNCANSON
Sharon Bajer - Anita Mann
Sharon is an actress in film and theatre, playwright, director, acting coach and Intimacy Coordinator. During the pandemic she has been working on two new plays, With People with Winnipeg performer and writer Liam Zarrillo and Afterlight with composer/performer/multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cox. Sharon is featured in the film Run (currently streaming on Netflix) and you might spot her in the upcoming film Nobody with Bob Odenkirk. She was Intimacy Coordinator (and actor) on Orphan; First Kill shot here last fall. Sharon was recently nominated for 2 Manitoba ACTRA awards in the Actress categories for Escaping a Madhouse; The Nellie Bly Story and Wynter pilot. Sharon was the director of Strike! the musical at Rainbow Stage in 2019. She is a graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver and The Michael Langham Directing program at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Sharonbajer.com
EPISODE 3
Contestants
Joy Loewen - Ala Munny
Joy Loewen is a media industry executive with a passion for nurturing the development and promotion of storytellers. She is currently the CEO at the National Screen Institute, a not-for-profit training and mentoring organization that supports creators who change the world through the power of story. Joy is an active volunteer with leadership roles on several community and non-profit boards and councils including The Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba’s Order of Manitoba and Queen’s Council advisories. She also serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
Raymond Sokalski - Robin DeGraves
Raymond Sokalski has performed with the Manitoba Opera Chorus since 1990 and with the Winnipeg Singers for six seasons. He has portrayed Lillas Pastia and Le Guide (Carmen, Manitoba Opera), Luis (The Gondoliers, Gilbert & Sullivan Society), and numerous roles with Winnipeg’s Junction Players, including Jesus (Godspell), Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and Clarence (It’s a Wonderful Life). He has sung with the Calgary Opera Chorus, Rainbow Stage, and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. He first appeared with the Little Opera Company in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (2011), played Omar Khayyam in LOC’s Kismet (2016), and performed the dual role of Lillas Pastia/Garcia in La Tragédie de Carmen (2018).
Vocalists - Arias Ach ich liebte (Ent Fuhrung) TRACEY DAHL The Letter Aria (Eugene Onegin) LARA CIEKIEWICZ Caro nome (Rigoletto) ANDREA LETT
Vocalists - Excerpts
A te o cara – I Puritani ROB HERRIOT Près des ramparts – Carmen LIZZY HOYT Queen of the Night Aria – Magic Flute ANDREA LETT Salut! Demeurs chaste et pur – Faust ROB HERRIOT
Tracy Dahl, Coloratura Soprano
Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl, has appeared throughout her career with such esteemed opera companies as the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe and Calgary operas; the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). The “incredible Canadian soprano,” known for her agility and vocal range, values education alongside her impressive performing career as a Professor of Voice at the University of Manitoba. Tracy Dahl’s recent engagement highlights included appearances with Regina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company in Cosi fan tutte. She has recently performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony in Carmina Burana and the Vancouver Symphony in Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. She also recently appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s Candide Suite, and sung in a dual program with Adrianna Chuchman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Her past opera successes include Despina in Così fan tutte with Canadian Opera Company; Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera; the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; the world premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Cunegonde in Candide and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Calgary Opera; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Among her many notable debuts are Adele in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, where she later returned as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestine in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow; as well as Olympia in the San Francisco Opera production of Les contes d’Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo, where she returned as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On concert stages, Tracy Dahl’s many appearances include an evening of Gershwin songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Cleveland Orchestra at The Blossom Festival; the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; Vail Summer Music Festival; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Monterey Symphony; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with both San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). Born in Winnipeg, Tracy Dahl commenced her vocal training at age 12, and had her heart set on a career in musical theatre. During her studies at the Banff Centre, she successfully debuted as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Manitoba Opera. Under the guidance of Mary Morrison and Martin Isepp, Dahl developed her career in opera, ultimately performing with world renowned symphonies, orchestras, and opera companies. In July 2017, Tracy Dahl had the high honor of being appointed to the Order of Canada for her accomplishments as an opera singer and for her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian singers.
Andrea Lett, Soprano
Praised for her "clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights" (Opera Canada), soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in the classical music scene across Canada. Ms. Lett’s roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Manitoba Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (Saskatoon Opera), and both Queen of the Night and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Manitoba Underground Opera). Lett covered the role of Gilda in Edmonton Opera’s 2019 production of Rigoletto, and covered the role of Adele as an apprentice singer in Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 production of Die Fledermaus. Ms Lett was then engaged at San Francisco Opera as a principal cover for the role Ah Sing for the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West. Ms Lett won the CBC Young Artist’s Development Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2018 Canadian Opera Company’s Center Stage Gala, and was later recorded a the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and featured on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
Lara Ciekiewicz, Soprano
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing- actress. Her facility for fully transforming into a character, regardless of genre, has earned her the reputation of being an artistic chameleon. In addition to the title role in Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, the 2019-20 season saw Lara as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, and make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). As theatres reopen, upcoming projects include Musetta (La Bohème) for Edmonton Opera, Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company, rejoining the Victoria Symphony as a soloist for A Viennese New Years, a return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May (Ours), as well as an appearance with the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival. Select additional credits include: title role, Jenůfa; Amelia, Simon Boccanegra (Pacific Opera Victoria); Tatyana, Eugene Onegin (Calgary Opera); Countess, Le nozze di Figaro (Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera); May, Ours; Cinderella, Into the Woods; Maria, The Sound of Music (Opera on the Avalon); Micaëla, Carmen (Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Opera Kelowna, Opera Lyra Ottawa); Musetta, La Bohème (Manitoba Opera, Opéra de Montréal); Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta Theatre). Lara is a voice instructor with the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Masters in Music (Opera) from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts - Honours (Voice) from the University of Winnipeg. She is an alumna of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, the Banff Centre, and Opera NUOVA. She also enjoys gardening, is an avid walker, loves fabulous footwear, and is a self-professed prairie-girl forever. https://www.deanartists.com/lara-ciekiewicz
ALL THOSE ARIAS Production & Cast
EPISODE 1
Sharon is an actress in film and theatre, playwright, director, acting coach and Intimacy Coordinator. During the pandemic she has been working on two new plays, With People with Winnipeg performer and writer Liam Zarrillo and Afterlight with composer/performer/multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cox. Sharon is featured in the film Run (currently streaming on Netflix) and you might spot her in the upcoming film Nobody with Bob Odenkirk. She was Intimacy Coordinator (and actor) on Orphan; First Kill shot here last fall. Sharon was recently nominated for 2 Manitoba ACTRA awards in the Actress categories for Escaping a Madhouse; The Nellie Bly Story and Wynter pilot. Sharon was the director of Strike! the musical at Rainbow Stage in 2019. She is a graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver and The Michael Langham Directing program at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Sharonbajer.com
Canadian stage director Rob Herriot’s career has taken him across North America. In the past year Rob has been very fortunate to have stayed busy. He directed At the Statue and of Venus and Bon Appetite for The Little Opera Company’s I Need Opera…and Dance that premiered in the fall of 2020. Earlier this year he wrote and directed a 6-part series called Opera School for Manitoba Opera. He has directed productions of Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, Carmen, Rigoletto and Don Pasquale (Manitoba Opera), Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale (Livermore Valley Opera) La Traviata, Don Pasquale (Opera Hamilton), Carmen, Don Pasquale (Arizona Opera), Don Pasquale (Connecticut Opera, Utah Opera) New productions of Rigoletto (2019) HMS Pinafore (2018) Hansel and Gretel, and Magic Flute. Other productions for Edmonton include Turandot, Pirates of Penzance, La Fille Du Regiment, HMS Pinafore (Edmonton Opera- winner of a Sterling Award for Outstanding Musical of the Season); Tosca, The Mikado, La Cenerentola, all nominated for the Sterling Award’s Best Musical Production of their year. For Calgary Opera he has directed productions of Tosca and Barber of Seville, both nominated for Betty Mitchell awards for Best Musical of 2009 and 2018 seasons, as well as La Boheme for the 40 th anniversary of the company. Other productions for Calgary include The Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance and Candide, as well as numerous shows for their Emerging Artists program. He created a touring production of Don Pasquale for Utah Opera which toured over three seasons and then produced it with the young artists of Tulsa Opera in 2005. He is currently a returning director for Opera Nuova, one of Canada’s young artist summer programs. As a teacher and mentor, he has directed productions of The Fairy Queen, Tartuffe Beatrice and Benedict, Don Giovanni, Oklahoma, La Boheme and Patience. Rob also directed productions of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella for Rainbow Stage. Rob wants to thank The Little Opera company for believing in this venture and working so hard to make it come to life.
Raymond Sokalski has performed with the Manitoba Opera Chorus since 1990 and with the Winnipeg Singers for six seasons. He has portrayed Lillas Pastia and Le Guide (Carmen, Manitoba Opera), Luis (The Gondoliers, Gilbert & Sullivan Society), and numerous roles with Winnipeg’s Junction Players, including Jesus (Godspell), Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and Clarence (It’s a Wonderful Life). He has sung with the Calgary Opera Chorus, Rainbow Stage, and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. He first appeared with the Little Opera Company in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (2011), played Omar Khayyam in LOC’s Kismet (2016), and performed the dual role of Lillas Pastia/Garcia in La Tragédie de Carmen (2018).
Raymond Sokalski, Robin DeGraves Joy Loewen, Ala Munny
Joy Loewen is a media industry executive with a passion for nurturing the development and promotion of storytellers. She is currently the CEO at the National Screen Institute, a not-for-profit training and mentoring organization that supports creators who change the world through the power of story. Joy is an active volunteer with leadership roles on several community and non-profit boards and councils including The Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba’s Order of Manitoba and Queen’s Council advisories. She also serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
Sharon Bajer, Anita Mann Rob Herriot, Stage Director Spencer Duncanson, Artistic Director / Music Director LIzzy Hoyt, Mezzo-soprano Lara Ciekiewicz, Soprano
Vocalists - Arias Va! Laisse couler mes larmes (Werther) LIZZY HOYT Signore Ascolta (Turandot) LARA CIEKIEWICZ Non piu mesta (La Cenerentola) LIZZY HOYT
Winnipeg mezzo-soprano, Lizzy Hoyt is quickly making a name for herself as an engaging and profound performer with a warm, agile voice. A member of Manitoba Opera’s 2020 Emerging Artist Program, she was the 2018 Flipside Opera Competition winner and Judges Choice Award recipient. Ms. Hoyt is passionate about song repertoire and has performed with Concordia Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Kootenays and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. She has also given recitals for Skywalk Concerts (Virtuosi), Edmonton Recital Society, St. Albert Chamber Music Society and Arts on 817 Concert Series. Recent opera roles include Julia Child in Hoiby‘s Bon Appetit for Little Opera Company and Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for Manitoba Underground Opera where “her deeply felt performance infused the entire production with aching humanity” (Opera Canada). Other recent performances include Flipside Opera’s “Greeriad” and their “Echoes of Spain” concert in partnership with the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society. Ms. Hoyt is also a multi-award winning songwriter and singer in the genres of Celtic and folk. A Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, she tours throughout the country with her trio.
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing-actress. Her facility for fully transforming into a character, regardless of genre, has earned her the reputation of being an artistic chameleon. In addition to the title role in Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, the 2019-20 season saw Lara as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, and make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). As theatres reopen, upcoming projects include Musetta (La Bohème) for Edmonton Opera, Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company, rejoining the Victoria Symphony as a soloist for A Viennese New Years, a return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May (Ours), as well as an appearance with the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival. Select additional credits include: title role, Jenůfa; Amelia, Simon Boccanegra (Pacific Opera Victoria); Tatyana, Eugene Onegin (Calgary Opera); Countess, Le nozze di Figaro (Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera); May, Ours; Cinderella, Into the Woods; Maria, The Sound of Music (Opera on the Avalon); Micaëla, Carmen (Fargo- Moorhead Opera, Opera Kelowna, Opera Lyra Ottawa); Musetta, La Bohème (Manitoba Opera, Opéra de Montréal); Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta Theatre). Lara is a voice instructor with the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Masters in Music (Opera) from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts - Honours (Voice) from the University of Winnipeg. She is an alumna of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, the Banff Centre, and Opera NUOVA. She also enjoys gardening, is an avid walker, loves fabulous footwear, and is a self-professed prairie-girl forever. https://www.deanartists.com/lara-ciekiewicz
Tracy Dahl, Coloratura Soprano
Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl, has appeared throughout her career with such esteemed opera companies as the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe and Calgary operas; the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). The “incredible Canadian soprano,” known for her agility and vocal range, values education alongside her impressive performing career as a Professor of Voice at the University of Manitoba. Tracy Dahl’s recent engagement highlights included appearances with Regina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company in Cosi fan tutte. She has recently performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony in Carmina Burana and the Vancouver Symphony in Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. She also recently appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s Candide Suite, and sung in a dual program with Adrianna Chuchman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Her past opera successes include Despina in Così fan tutte with Canadian Opera Company; Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera; the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; the world premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Cunegonde in Candide and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Calgary Opera; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Among her many notable debuts are Adele in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, where she later returned as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestine in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow; as well as Olympia in the San Francisco Opera production of Les contes d’Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo, where she returned as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On concert stages, Tracy Dahl’s many appearances include an evening of Gershwin songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Cleveland Orchestra at The Blossom Festival; the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; Vail Summer Music Festival; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Monterey Symphony; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with both San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). Born in Winnipeg, Tracy Dahl commenced her vocal training at age 12, and had her heart set on a career in musical theatre. During her studies at the Banff Centre, she successfully debuted as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Manitoba Opera. Under the guidance of Mary Morrison and Martin Isepp, Dahl developed her career in opera, ultimately performing with world renowned symphonies, orchestras, and opera companies. In July 2017, Tracy Dahl had the high honor of being appointed to the Order of Canada for her accomplishments as an opera singer and for her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian singers.
Vocalists - Excerpts
Spargi d’amaro pianto (Lucia) TRACY DAHL C’est le dieu (Lakme) ROB HERRIOT Hai jo hotoho (Die Walkure) DAWN BRUCH-WIENS
Production
Stage Manager: Kathryn Ball Video Editor: Compass Digital – Ivan Hughes RMTC Digital Studio: Video Technician – Jacqueline Robertson RMTC Digital Studio: Sound Technician – Chris Brett Prop build: Wood FX – George Duseigne Promotions: Heather Milne Webmaster: Don Larsen Graphic Designer: Miles Linklater With the support of Manitoba Opera Special thanks to the following funding organizations for their support of The Little Opera Company’s vision for opera: Canada Council for the Arts Gail Asper Family Foundation, Inc Manitoba Arts Council The Winnipeg Foundation Winnipeg Arts Council Thanks to: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Manitoba Opera ACTRA – Rob Macklin Christine Corthey (RMTC) Jeff Francis (Transportation)
Michael Oike Deena Grier
Pianist MICHAEL OIKE enjoys a busy and diverse musical life in his hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba. For over 30 years he has taught piano to students of all ages, given workshops & masterclasses, and adjudicated at music festivals all across Canada. Michael performs in chamber music ensembles and as vocal and instrumental pianist. Michael’s training includes solo piano studies with Alice Nakauchi & Sydney McInnis, in Toronto with Boris Lysenko where he received the University of Toronto Forsythe Scholarship as the outstanding graduating pianist. In addition, Michael was fortunate to work with the reknowned pedagogue Jeaneane Dowis at her New York studio and twice as a chamber music fellow at the Waterloo Festival (Princeton University), and seminars with Rudolf Jansen and Martin Isepp (Aldeburgh School in England and Academy of Singing at Banff), two of the leading pianists in the field of vocal accompanying. Away from music Michael enjoys golfing, curling, biking, cheering for the Jets, Raiders and Blue Jays, and tinkering in the kitchen perfecting his blueberry pies, butter tarts and sushi.
During her undergraduate studies as a solo pianist, Canadian pianist Deena Grier (she/her) was introduced to the world of accompanying and began to focus on collaborating with singers in particular, igniting a passion for both the written word and exploring other languages. Ms. Grier completed her graduate studies as an Opera Major at The Boston Conservatory, playing as a rehearsal pianist for operas including Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen and Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and joined the orchestra pit for the recitatives in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Deena’s return to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada has found her in the role of music director often, premiering Michael McKay’s The Confused Castrato with Little Opera Company, and both conducting and performing Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Manitoba Underground Opera). Much in demand both as a collaborator and vocal coach, Ms. Grier continues to spread her reputation as a sensitive musician and skilled diction coach, currently working with singers near and far to hone their craft and spread the joy of vocal music.
Collaborating Pianists
When Rob Herriot came to me with the preliminary idea of reformatting a recital by embedding the repertoire into the framework of an opera quiz, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only had I been a fan of the Saturday Afternoon at the Opera Quiz that was hosted by the late Stuart Hamilton, but I was also well acquainted with the many brilliant projects that were manifestations of Rob’s creativity. “All Those Arias” is a well-designed, well scripted and directed production that is both entertaining and informative. Our cast of contestants is stellar as they strive to answer the challenging questions posed by our brilliant host Vic Trolla; the contestants bring a vast array of knowledge from various sectors of the world of arts and culture. But the question remains, “Who best knows “All Those Arias”? As if the quiz and witty repartee aren’t enough, we are especially pleased to offer nine full arias by five of Winnipeg’s most celebrated singers: Dawn Bruch, Lara Ciekiewicz, Lizzy Hoyt, Andrea Lett, and the incomparable Tracy Dahl. You will marvel at the beauty, artistry and ease of delivery of these fine artists. All in all, “All Those Arias” is all I hoped it would be. Now, I hope you will join our contestants in assessing your operatic knowledge and tantalizing your ears with this bell canto experience!
Kathryn is thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on this fun project during a time when the arts are needed most! This is her first show with Little Opera Company. She has stage managed around Winnipeg at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera, Prairie Theatre Exchange, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has also had the opportunity to work at the Globe Theatre in Regina and the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. She can't wait to see you in a live audience soon!
Kathryn Ball, Stage Manager
EPISODE 2
Lara Secord-Haid - Sally Forth
Ms. Secord-Haid is enjoying a diverse and dynamic international career. Recent performances include, Governess in Turn of the Screw with Nashville Opera, Sophie in Werther with Manitoba Opera, a concert in the Jeonju International Sori Festival in Korea and a concert at Opera Helikon in Moscow, a 15-city operatic concert tour throughout China, Cendrillon in Cendrillon (New York Lyric Opera), a solo concert with Opera San Miguel (San Miguel, Mexico), Marsinah in Kismet (Little Opera Winnipeg), Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Opera on the Avalon) Marzelline in Fidelio (Manitoba Opera), 3 Settings of Celan by Harrison Birtwistle with the AXIOM Ensemble at Lincoln Center, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario (North Shore Music Festival), and Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Opera on the Avalon). Additional roles include Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (Manhattan Opera Studio), Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Manhattan Opera Studio) Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Banff Center), Giulia in La Scala di Seta (Juilliard) as well as the Woodpecker in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Juilliard). On the concert stage, Ms. Secord-Haid has delved with keen interest into the study and performance of contemporary works. She performed an Alice Tully Hall premier of Ritual by Alessandro Iglesias Rossi and works of John Cage with both The New Juilliard Ensemble and Banff Centre with the resident new music ensemble conducted by Joel Sachs. She also performed Handel's Messiah and Verdi's Requiem with the Orchestra at Shelter Rock and sang featured works of Granados, R. Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov in recital. In 2018 Ms. Secord-Haid sang a concert at Linz Operin Linz, Austria and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Greenwich Chorale Society. In 2019 she sings Jessie Anderson in the new opera No One’s Safe by Lizée and Ivany and workshops a new production of Silent Light by composer Paola Prestini and librettist Royce Vavrek, directed by Thaddeus Strassberger at the Banff Festival. She also made her role debut as Michaela in La Tragedie de Carmen with City Lyric Opera and appeared as a soloist in a Salute to Bernstein with Little Opera Winnipeg. She holds a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from The New England Conservatory of Music. She was a fellow at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, attended Highlands Opera Studio, the Banff Center, the Conservatoire de Nice summer academy and the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium.
Contestants
Rory Runnells - Justin Case
Rory Runnells is a Winnipeg writer. For 34 years, he was Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights (1983-2017). During Rory’s tenure, the Manitoba Association of Playwrights helped develop notable Manitoba writers such as Sharon Bajer, Rick Chafe, Ginny Collins, Tricia Cooper, Brian Drader, Maureen Hunter, Bruce McManus, Ellen Peterson, and two Governor General’s Award winners, Ian Ross and Vern Thiessen. Other notable achievements during Rory’s tenure include a series of Canada-Denmark playwright exchanges; the wildly successful Scirocco Drama High School Playwriting Contest; the Harry Rintoul Award for Best Manitoba Play at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival; the Reg Skene Award for Emerging Theatre Artist; and the establishment of a library/archive/theatre resource centre which houses important documents related to Manitoba theatre and playwrights. In addition to being an arts administrator, Runnells also works as a writer, editor, and independent theatre producer. He is a regular contributor to Manitoba Opera’s house program, and he co-wrote the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s 50th anniversary history book. He is currently Drama Editor for Prairie Fire, and has edited two collections of Manitoba plays. In 2008, Rory received the Making A Difference Award from the Winnipeg Arts Council. His production of Harold Pinter’s Old Times played to critical acclaim at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. He produced the Winnipeg premiere of Vern Thiessen’s Shakespeare Will for Shakespeare Fest in 2020. That production won for its director, Eric Blais, an Evie Award, and it will be filmed by Shakespeare in the Ruins in the fall of 2021.
Joseph Sevillo - Dwayne Pipe
Joseph Sevillo is a professional triple threat stage performer, choreographer, musical theatre teacher at Shelley Shearer and MTYP, creator of MA-BUHAY! MUSICAL and an artist in residence with Rainbow Stage and founding director for RISE MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY which is the education in residence at Prairie Theatre Exchange. He was born and raised in Winnipeg. He has 24 years of professional musical theatre experience performing on stages all across North America. Joseph is excited to share his passion and experience with our students. He is a proud member of the Canadian Actors Equity Association. You may have seen him as Angel in Rent, Judah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat, or Chino in Westside Story at Rainbow Stage. He has a passion for teaching and performing in children’s theatre and has been an associate choreographer for stage shows such as the Bubble Guppies, Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, Franklin the Turtle, Dora the Explorer and Strawberry Shortcake under the mentorship of Patti Caplette (Koba Entertainment). He was also the choreographer for Hugh and I (Bad Neighbour Productions Toronto) and Rooms a Rock Romance Musical (Winnipeg Studio Theatre). Other favorite performing credits include: Angelo in Danny King of the Basement (MTYP), Jojo in the Canadian Premiere of Seussical The Musical (Young People’s Theatre Toronto), Mark in Altar Boyz (Winnipeg Studio Theatre and Prairie Theatre Exchange), Beauty and the Beast (Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary), Evita, The Wave , Billy Elliot (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Theatre Calgary), Prison Dancer (San Francisco International Asian Film Festival), Mamma Mia (Mirvish Productions), Miss Saigon (Drayton Festival), Aladdin Jr (Silvermist Productions) Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Cinderella, Rent, Mamma Mia, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Fame, Westside, Joseph Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line, South Pacific (Rainbow Stage), and The Bridge (Danny Schur).
Vocalists - Arias Je veux vivre (Roméo et Juliette) ANDREA LETT Ebben! Ne andro lontana (La Wally) DAWN BRUCH Volta la Terrea (The Masked Ball) TRACY DAHL
Andrea Lett, Soprano
Praised for her "clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights" (Opera Canada), soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in the classical music scene across Canada. Ms. Lett’s roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Manitoba Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (Saskatoon Opera), and both Queen of the Night and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Manitoba Underground Opera). Lett covered the role of Gilda in Edmonton Opera’s 2019 production of Rigoletto, and covered the role of Adele as an apprentice singer in Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 production of Die Fledermaus. Ms Lett was then engaged at San Francisco Opera as a principal cover for the role Ah Sing for the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West. Ms Lett won the CBC Young Artist’s Development Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2018 Canadian Opera Company’s Center Stage Gala, and was later recorded a the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and featured on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
Dawn Bruch-Wiens
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.
Vocalists - Excerpts Parto, parto (La Clemenza di Tito) LIZZY HOYT Tu che di gel (Turandot) LARA CIEKIEWICZ O Sainte Médaille (Faust) SPENCER DUNCANSON
Premieres on May 6, 2021 at 6PM CDT
Vocalists - Arias Ach ich liebte (Ent Fuhrung) TRACEY DAHL The Letter Aria (Eugene Onegin) LARA CIEKIEWICZ Caro nome (Rigoletto) ANDREA LETT
A te o cara – I Puritani ROB HERRIOT Près des ramparts – Carmen LIZZY HOYT Queen of the Night Aria – Magic Flute ANDREA LETT Salut! Demeurs chaste et pur – Faust ROB HERRIOT
EPISODE 3
Contestants
Sharon is an actress in film and theatre, playwright, director, acting coach and Intimacy Coordinator. During the pandemic she has been working on two new plays, With People with Winnipeg performer and writer Liam Zarrillo and Afterlight with composer/performer/multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cox. Sharon is featured in the film Run (currently streaming on Netflix) and you might spot her in the upcoming film Nobody with Bob Odenkirk. She was Intimacy Coordinator (and actor) on Orphan; First Kill shot here last fall. Sharon was recently nominated for 2 Manitoba ACTRA awards in the Actress categories for Escaping a Madhouse; The Nellie Bly Story and Wynter pilot. Sharon was the director of Strike! the musical at Rainbow Stage in 2019. She is a graduate of Studio 58 in Vancouver and The Michael Langham Directing program at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Sharonbajer.com
Raymond Sokalski has performed with the Manitoba Opera Chorus since 1990 and with the Winnipeg Singers for six seasons. He has portrayed Lillas Pastia and Le Guide (Carmen, Manitoba Opera), Luis (The Gondoliers, Gilbert & Sullivan Society), and numerous roles with Winnipeg’s Junction Players, including Jesus (Godspell), Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and Clarence (It’s a Wonderful Life). He has sung with the Calgary Opera Chorus, Rainbow Stage, and the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. He first appeared with the Little Opera Company in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors (2011), played Omar Khayyam in LOC’s Kismet (2016), and performed the dual role of Lillas Pastia/Garcia in La Tragédie de Carmen (2018).
Raymond Sokalski, Robin DeGraves Joy Loewen, Ala Munny
Joy Loewen is a media industry executive with a passion for nurturing the development and promotion of storytellers. She is currently the CEO at the National Screen Institute, a not-for-profit training and mentoring organization that supports creators who change the world through the power of story. Joy is an active volunteer with leadership roles on several community and non-profit boards and councils including The Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba’s Order of Manitoba and Queen’s Council advisories. She also serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
Sharon Bajer, Anita Mann Tracy Dahl, Coloratura Soprano
Canada’s premiere coloratura soprano, Tracy Dahl, has appeared throughout her career with such esteemed opera companies as the Metropolitan, San Francisco, Houston Grand, Santa Fe and Calgary operas; the Canadian Opera Company, Pacific Opera Victoria, Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). The “incredible Canadian soprano,” known for her agility and vocal range, values education alongside her impressive performing career as a Professor of Voice at the University of Manitoba. Tracy Dahl’s recent engagement highlights included appearances with Regina Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company in Cosi fan tutte. She has recently performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony in Carmina Burana and the Vancouver Symphony in Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. She also recently appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Bernstein’s Candide Suite, and sung in a dual program with Adrianna Chuchman with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Her past opera successes include Despina in Così fan tutte with Canadian Opera Company; Gilda in Rigoletto with Edmonton Opera and Manitoba Opera; the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria; the world premieres of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Cunegonde in Candide and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with Calgary Opera; and Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, Portland Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Among her many notable debuts are Adele in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, where she later returned as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestine in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow; as well as Olympia in the San Francisco Opera production of Les contes d’Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo, where she returned as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. On concert stages, Tracy Dahl’s many appearances include an evening of Gershwin songs with the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Cleveland Orchestra at The Blossom Festival; the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall; Vail Summer Music Festival; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Monterey Symphony; Britten’s Les Illuminations with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; a concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with both San Francisco and St. Louis symphonies. Her discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). Born in Winnipeg, Tracy Dahl commenced her vocal training at age 12, and had her heart set on a career in musical theatre. During her studies at the Banff Centre, she successfully debuted as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Manitoba Opera. Under the guidance of Mary Morrison and Martin Isepp, Dahl developed her career in opera, ultimately performing with world renowned symphonies, orchestras, and opera companies. In July 2017, Tracy Dahl had the high honor of being appointed to the Order of Canada for her accomplishments as an opera singer and for her commitment to mentoring the next generation of Canadian singers.
Lara Ciekiewicz, Soprano
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing-actress. Her facility for fully transforming into a character, regardless of genre, has earned her the reputation of being an artistic chameleon. In addition to the title role in Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, the 2019-20 season saw Lara as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, and make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro). As theatres reopen, upcoming projects include Musetta (La Bohème) for Edmonton Opera, Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company, rejoining the Victoria Symphony as a soloist for A Viennese New Years, a return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May (Ours), as well as an appearance with the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival. Select additional credits include: title role, Jenůfa; Amelia, Simon Boccanegra (Pacific Opera Victoria); Tatyana, Eugene Onegin (Calgary Opera); Countess, Le nozze di Figaro (Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera); May, Ours; Cinderella, Into the Woods; Maria, The Sound of Music (Opera on the Avalon); Micaëla, Carmen (Fargo- Moorhead Opera, Opera Kelowna, Opera Lyra Ottawa); Musetta, La Bohème (Manitoba Opera, Opéra de Montréal); Rosalinde, Die Fledermaus (Toronto Operetta Theatre). Lara is a voice instructor with the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Masters in Music (Opera) from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Arts - Honours (Voice) from the University of Winnipeg. She is an alumna of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center, the Banff Centre, and Opera NUOVA. She also enjoys gardening, is an avid walker, loves fabulous footwear, and is a self-professed prairie-girl forever. https://www.deanartists.com/lara-ciekiewicz
Andrea Lett, Soprano
Praised for her "clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights" (Opera Canada), soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in the classical music scene across Canada. Ms. Lett’s roles include Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Manitoba Opera), Musetta in La Bohème (Saskatoon Opera), and both Queen of the Night and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Manitoba Underground Opera). Lett covered the role of Gilda in Edmonton Opera’s 2019 production of Rigoletto, and covered the role of Adele as an apprentice singer in Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 production of Die Fledermaus. Ms Lett was then engaged at San Francisco Opera as a principal cover for the role Ah Sing for the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West. Ms Lett won the CBC Young Artist’s Development Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2018 Canadian Opera Company’s Center Stage Gala, and was later recorded a the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and featured on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
littleopera.ca