Maureen Batt

Soprano, artistic director, educator, curator, producer

“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). Maureen’s solo career is focused on promoting Canadian classical contemporary repertoire by collaborating with established and emerging composers to commission, première, and re-perform their works. Her debut album, Lady of the Lake includes song cycles by Schubert and Halifax-based composer Fiona Ryan and was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year (2018) by ECMA and Music Nova Scotia. She is also featured on Saman Shahi’s album Breathing in the Shadows with Tara Scott on piano. Aunt Helen, an opera short EP will be released on Leaf Music in May 2021 with Simon Docking on piano. Maureen’s second album, with music by Greg Harrison and lyrics by Tom Belding, will come out later in 2021.

 

 

She is the co-artistic director of Essential Opera—an opera company founded in 2010 with Erin Bardua—and part of the Indie Opera Toronto collective. Essential Opera celebrated its 10th anniversary with two opera short films of works by Canadian composers Anna Pidgorna and Monica Pearce. 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, Canada, and Colombia. In its short history, Crossing Borders has given 15 world premières and has given composers and works many Canadian/American/Colombian premières. 

 

Maureen has 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).  Professional training programs include:  Wholeness in Motion (Wisconsin, US), Centre for Operatic Studies (Sulmona, Italy), Contemporary Performance Studies, VISI (Vancouver, BC), Tapestry New Opera 101 Songbook (Toronto, ON), Opera from Scratch (Halifax, NS), St. Andrews Opera Workshop (St. Andrews, NB), Daniel Ferro Vocal Program (Greve, Tuscany, Italy), Casalmaggiore International Festival (Casalmaggiore, Italy), Halifax Summer Opera Festival (Halifax, NS). 

 

For professional development in vocal pedagogy, Maureen has been studying with Dr. Shannon Coates, focusing on the art of teaching singing in classical and non-classical styles. Maureen recently completed the first level of The LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™, and is continuing her Wholeness in Motion work with Babette Lightner. 

 

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.Maureen has been on faculty as vocal coach at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival for Massenet’s Cendrillon, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Händel’s Alcina, and returns this year for Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. Maureen teaches voice, offers workshops online, and is a frequent music festival adjudicator. As an educator, Maureen invites her students to explore their singing through the lens of wholeness, embodied play, curiosity, and compassion.

 

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, the United States, and Colombia.

 

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 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 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. Maureen also appeared as Ms. Fleming in Heather’s: The Musical! with Whale Song Theatre.