Biography

“young, lovely, and captivating soprano” ~ Opera Canada (Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni)

“enthusiastically at home on stage…endlessly energetic and animated interpretation” ~ Chronicle Herald, Halifax (Serpina in Pergolesi’s The Maid Mistress)

“Batt brought a warm and very pleasing voice to her performance.” ~ Opera Canada (Helen in Monica Pearce’s Aunt Helen)

Maureen Batt is celebrated for her “rich, warm sound and masterful acting” (Opera Canada). Recently, Maureen’s solo career has focused on promoting Canadian classical contemporary repertoire by collaborating with established and emerging composers to commission, première, and re-perform their works. In June 2017, her debut CD, Lady of the Lake was released (Leaf Music/Naxos). The album pairs two song cycles based on the epic poem by Sir Walter Scott: Op. 52 by Schubert, and a new song cycle by Canadian composer, Fiona Ryan.
She has created several Canadian opera roles including Helen, Aunt Helen (Monica Pearce); Keri Ferrell, Hipster Grifter (Elisha Denburg); Lorelei Henderson, Stockholm Syndrome (Fiona Ryan); Bride, Cake (Pearce); Hannah, Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates (Christopher Thornborrow); Dorothy Parker, Etiquette (Pearce); Anna, Regina (Denburg); Cindy, Heather: Cindy + Mindy =BFFS 4EVER (Thornborrow); and Mother/Sister Mary Francis, Time of Trouble (Elizabeth Raum).

She has been engaged by Opera Nova Scotia, Maritime Concert Opera, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, VOICEBOX, Toronto Operetta Theatre, New Hamburg Live!, Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, Whale Song Theatre, The Toy Piano Composers, and has performed recitals across Canada and in the United States. She is a frequent performer of the Open Stage Series at the Carleton in Halifax for local arts charities.

Memorable opera credits from standard repertoire include Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart); Zerlina, Don Giovanni (Mozart); Despina, Così fan tutte (Mozart); Serpina, The Maid Mistress (Pergolesi), Belinda, Dido and Aeneas (Purcell); Yum-Yum, The Mikado (Sullivan), Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi (Puccini); Polly, The Threepenny Opera/Die Dreigroschenoper (Weill); Morgana, Alcina (Händel); Nina, Chérubin (Massenet). Her selected concert and oratorio credits include Händel’s Messiah and Esther, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Exsultate Jubilate, Bach’s BWV 187 Es wartet alles auf dich, BWV 4 Christ lag in Todesbanden, and BWV 245 St. John Passion.

Maureen, with her colleague Erin Bardua, is co-artistic director of Essential Opera—an opera company founded in 2010, and part of the Indie Opera Toronto collective. In 2015, Maureen founded Crossing Borders, a contemporary classical recital series which has toured programs of art song, opera arias, musical theatre, and electronics to the United States and Canada with Cheryl Duvall (piano). She has been the recipient of awards from the SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, SSHRC, FACTOR, Music Nova Scotia, and Arts Nova Scotia.
An inspiring educator, her voice students have won festival competitions; agents; and admission to private arts schools, musical theatre diploma programs, and bachelor of music degree programs. Maureen also adjudicates at music festivals.

Her formal training includes a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University (French and Spanish). She is an alumna of the St. Andrews Opera by the Sea workshop, the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Italy, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Opera from Scratch, Tapestry Songbook New Opera 101, and the Contemporary Performance Studies program at the Vancouver International Song Institute.

Maureen has had the distinguished honour of being invited to perform as a guest soloist for Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan during their visit to Ottawa, marking 80 years of diplomatic ties between Canada and Japan. Also, with the St. James Choir in Toronto, she sang for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Among the list of conductors and directors Maureen has worked with are Andrew Ager, Derek Bate, Larry Beckwith, Michael Capon, Laura Caswell, Robert Cooper, Philippe Djokic, Gary Ewer, Richard Hornsby, Steven Jarvi, Walter Kemp, Kevin, Mallon, Peter Merrick, David Overton, David Passmore, Leigh Rivenbark, Ilkay Silk, Guillermo Silva-Marin, and Vicki St. Pierre. As part of the BlackCreek Music Festival Chorus, Maureen had the honour of singing under the batons of Marvin Hamlisch, Eugene Kohn, and Lorin Maazel.

As an actor, Maureen filmed the pilot for the TV series Oznaberg, which premièred in the 2011 Silverwave Film Festival, and has since aired on Rogers Television. Maureen has also appeared in Theatre St. Thomas University’s productions of Measure for Measure, Oh, What a Lovely War, and Caucasian Chalk Circle. Most recently, Maureen appeared as Ms. Fleming in Heather’s: The Musical! with Whale Song Theatre.