Manitoba Underground Opera (MUO) proudly presents weird and wonderful ways of sharing the grand art form.
Their current season, titled Odyssey2023, expands their musical endeavours, beginning with the world premiere of “The Mansplaining Division."
The first-ever MUO commission, the opera features a libretto by Karen Remoto with music composed by Laura Gow, who was approached pre-pandemic with the idea of presenting a new work.
“We got together with Laura and said ‘Your perspective is not being shared on stage, what do you want to say?’” explains MUO General Manager Brendan McKeen.
The resulting opera is one billed as “equal parts Greek Mythology, The Good Place, and modern feminist discourse,” on the Manitoba Underground Opera website.
“I feel like traditional opera is just not there for everybody,” says Gow, citing potential barriers such as language, staging, length, and libretti – all part of the broader industry dominated by men.
Directed by Alissa Watson, "The Mansplaining Division" features Syndey Clarke, Alice McGregor, and Carmen Harris as the Furies/employees of the “Underworld Department of Crimes against Women,” tenor Andrew Derynck as John Woe is Me, with the additional cast rounded out by Max Fingerote, Rebeca Oliveira and Adam Sperry.
Taking place Wednesday, May 24 through Friday, May 26 at the Pyramid Cabaret, the response to the commissioned opera has been overwhelming.
“Opening and closing are both sold out,” says McKeen, noting that just 16 tickets were left available at the time of the interview for Thursday’s performance.
Later this season, Manitoba Underground Opera presents Rameau’s "Castor et Pollux" in August at the St. Boniface Cathedral and then a performance on the Nonsuch of Verdi’s "The Corsair," in addition to their Opera for Children Tour, "The Bremen Town Musicians."
For tickets and more details on Odyssey2023, visit: www.manitobaundergroundopera.com