Manitoba Opera returns to the stage for their 49th season to explore human connection and a beloved tale. General Director and CEO of Manitoba Opera Larry Desrochers was on Morning Light! 

After navigating their first ever online concert season in 2020/21, Manitoba Opera plans on returning to the Centennial Concert Hall in November—and they are bringing the audience with them!

“We’ve missed the audience tremendously,” says Larry Desrochers. “(And we’ve) missed that rapport that the artists and the audience have together.” 

Manitoba Opera 2021/22 Season

Manitoba Opera opens their season with two one-act operas: Menotti’s The Telephone and Poulenc’s La voix humaine (The Human Voice). Both works explore the ideas of human connection and how technology impacts our relationships. Neither opera has been performed by Manitoba Opera before. 

Consisting of just three singers between the two operas (Lida Szkwarek and Johnathon Kirby in the Menotti; Lara Ciekiewicz in the Poulenc), the semi-staged productions directed by Winnipegger Jacqueline Loewen will feature the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on stage conducted by Naomi Woo.

“It’s the first time in my career where I’ve ever had to think about ‘what is a safe opera experience,’” explains Desrochers, noting the small cast size and an ability to pivot. 

Working with the Centennial Concert Hall and sister organizations in the arts community, the Manitoba Opera audience experience will follow public health guidelines and recommendations with further updates expected in the coming weeks. “Everyone is committed to providing as safe of an experience as possible.” 

In April 2022, family favourite La Cenerentola (Cinderella) will dazzle and delight audiences.

Directed by Rob Herriot, Desrochers calls the fully staged production “lovely, fantastic, and funny.” Logistically, the smaller cast (Lizzy Hoyt, Andrew Owens, Peter McGillivray, Stephen Hegedus, Andrea Lett, Pascale Spinney and Nicholas Borg) with men's chorus keeps the production nimble by operatic standards. The orchestra returns to the pit under the direction of Tyrone Paterson. 

“It’s not an opera that gets done a lot,” notes Desrochers. “But it’s just so delightful, the music is so sparkling, and there is such an opportunity for the characters to play off one another… it’s just a delightful opportunity for some comic hijinks.” 

Tickets for the 2021/22 season go on sale in September. Learn more by visiting the Manitoba Opera website. Find the full conversation with CEO and general director Larry Desrochers below!