Recently, I learned that two composers I’m commissioning for upcoming Crossing Borders concerts received commissioning/creation grants! I am thrilled!! Thank you to Arts Nova Scotia and Ontario Arts Council. And many congrats to Bob Bauer and Saman Shahi for winning these grants. I can’t wait to première your works!
I am looking for songs/scenes/pieces that embody what the winter holiday season means to you. I am looking to celebrate our traditions – whatever they may be.
Over the past 12 months, I have attended conferences and events discussing equity, diversity, civic impact, inclusion, and community engagement. Each time I came home from one of these events, I felt inspired to share and engage – share stories, share culture, share communication, and engage with my/our communities.
I have purposely picked a vague “theme” for this call. I want creators to feel as though they can send anything at all that is a work representative of how they feel during/about the winter months — whether that be through a holiday celebration, a time of reflection/sharing/solitude, a lack of enthusiasm for cold weather(ha!), or other.
There are no limitations on this call. Arrangements of traditional works (holiday or other) are also accepted and welcomed. While the scope of this concert doesn’t include guaranteed commissioning fees, I am more than happy to work with composers to partner on creation and commissioning grants for new works.
For this project, I am primarily interested in works from composers/creators from North America/Turtle Island (but will consider other submissions as well).
Works selected will be performed as part of my Crossing Borders recital series. To familiarize yourself with Crossing Borders here are previous posts on my website: HERE, HERE, and HERE (search “Crossing Borders” on my website) or check out my YouTube channel, FB page, and Twitter account.
HOW TO SUBMIT
Please submit scores/proposals to
Deadline for submission: Jan. 31, 2017.
Recordings welcomed, but not necessary.
Scores selected for performance will be purchased (submitted scores via email are for perusal only).
works for soprano/mezzo and piano
a capella works for soprano/mezzo
solo piano works
works with voice, piano, and electronics
works with multimedia
works with 1-2 other instruments, or a very small chamber ensemble, will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Let me share your stories :)!
NB: I might not be able to respond to everyone’s individual email submissions right away. Please know that if I am considering performing your music, you will be contacted at some point after the deadline. Thank you to all who submit, for considering this call, and thank you for your music.
Tickets will also be available at the door
$25 general, $20 arts workers/students
What is Crossing Borders?
Crossing Borders is a dynamic concert programme that creates a dialogue among contemporary compositional voices from Canada and other countries. The inaugural tour took place in January and March 2015 in Halifax, Philadelphia, and Toronto. This year’s Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred series includes Philadelphia on March 13, Toronto on March 20, and Halifax on August 6, 2016.
On this year’s concert:
Using multimedia, cabaret style, musical theatre style, and classical music style, this concert features modern topics relevant to today’s society: mental health issues, HIV/AIDS, gender identity, body issues, and is infused with humour as it mocks nursery rhymes and even selfies!
Each piece represents a reality that is blurred, a line that is crossed, a time that is both past and present.
A bit more about us, the artists in Crossing Borders:
Maureen Batt, soprano: Noted by Opera Canada as a “young, lovely and captivating soprano,” Maureen Batt is an accomplished artist. Her career embraces the full variety of genres: opera, oratorio, cabaret, musical theatre, art song, and contemporary music. She has been engaged by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Maritime Concert Opera, Toy Piano Composers, New Hamburg Live!, Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, and Opera Nova Scotia. She is the co-artistic director of Essential Opera, who closed its sixth season this April in Toronto. In April 2014, Essential Opera presented a triple bill of Canadian premières where Maureen created the roles of Dorothy Parker (Etiquette, Pearce), Anna (Regina, Denburg), and Cindy (Heather: Cindy + Mindy =BFFs 4EVER, Thornborrow). Maureen has also created the roles of Sister Mary Francis (Time of Trouble, Raum), Helen (Aunt Helen, Pearce), Keri Ferrell (Hipster Grifter, Denburg), Lorelie Henderson (Stockholm Syndrome, Ryan), Bride (Cake, Pearce), Hannah (Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates, Thornborrow). In 2017, Maureen will release her first commercial CD, with Jon-Paul Decosse, bass-baritone, and Simon Docking, piano, including Schubert’s Op. 52 and premièring Fiona Ryan’s Lady of the Lake.
Cheryl Duvall is a multi-faceted musician and pianist. She is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist, teacher and adjudicator and has toured and performed throughout Canada, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, England, Argentina and the U.S. She is especially passionate about contemporary music, which has led her to co-found the Thin Edge New Music Collective, now in their fourth season. Thin Edge completed a Canadian tour in winter 2013, were guest artists in residence at the SoundSCAPE Festival of New Music in Maccagno, Italy in 2013 and at Le Pantographe in Moutier, Switzerland in 2014. To date, they are responsible for commissioning and premièring 27 new works in the past three years, with plans for 13 new works throughout their fourth concert season. Ms. Duvall is the pianist for the Toronto-based Bell’Arte Singers and the internationally renowned Oakville Children’s Choir, with whom she has toured and competed internationally with gold standings. Besides performing, she maintains a full private piano studio and adjudicates piano competitions across Canada. Cheryl completed a BMus in Piano Performance and Theory, and a Diploma of Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a Master’s of Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Toronto.
For more information contact:
Maureen Batt at
***If you are unable to attend, but would still like to support the concert or donate a ticket for someone else to attend, you can do so by clicking the donate button below. Thank you for your support!***
It’s been a great start to 2016! My grant writing is paying off, and two Canadian operas that I was in got great Opera Canada reviews!
After a successful tour with Crossing Borders, it’s time for more contemporary music– and, this time, OPERA :)! Read more about my upcoming show in Toronto with Essential OperaHERE.
For photos of the Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour in Philly and Toronto CLICK HERE.
I’m also thrilled to announce that my project Lady of the Lake with Simon Docking, Jon-Paul Décosse, Fiona Ryan, and Leaf Music Inc. got the #FACTORFunded seal of approval! We record this project in October and I could not be more excited! In other grant news, the SOCAN Foundation has funded four recent and upcoming projects! Thank you, SOCAN!
Composer Elizabeth Raum and librettist Rex Deverell, both with connections to Mount Saint Vincent University, were intrigued by the history of the institution and the Order of the Sisters of Charity who founded it. They composed a dynamic, sometimes quite humorous, opera with a fully developed plot and real personalities.
Soprano Maureen Batt, as Mary McGuire—later to become Sister Francis and then Mother Francis—filled the church with her rich, warm sound and masterful acting.
Aunt Helen by Monica Pearce and Serva Padrona by Pergolesi with Opera Nova Scotia, May 2015.
Soprano Maureen Batt sang the role of [Helen] Creighton, a prominent folklorist who published books on Nova Scotia lore and collected more than 4,000 traditional songs and stories. The character of Aunt Helen is alone on stage, now in her 70s and talking about her life to an unseen interviewer. The original score, with some Nova Scotian folk music interspersed through it, is attractive, and Batt brought a warm and very pleasing voice to her performance.
The third opera was Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, with Batt returning to the stage as Serpina, the receptionist who would like to rule the company and its boss, bass-baritone Jon-Paul Décosse. The music was enjoyable and the singers quite impressive.
Reviews by Daphna Levit
Maureen during her Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour. Photo by Monica Pearce
Update (Sept. 14): I have been pleasantly inundated with submissions from composers all over! I may not have the time to respond to each one of you individually for follow-up, but THANK YOU for introducing me to your work! Composers whose works are being considered for this particular Crossing Borders iteration will be contacted directly.
I am curating the next Crossing Borders concert (2016) and am looking for short works for soprano (or mezzo) and piano, as well as short works for solo piano. There is no age, gender, or nationality restriction on this call. Shorter works are preferred. The genre of music is open to classical art song, crossover pop, musical theatre, cabaret, and opera. Themes for this concert centre on questioning reality, gender and sexuality, and being present.
There is no official deadline for this call; scores will be considered as they are received, beginning today, September 9. The performers for this concert are Maureen Batt, soprano, and Cheryl Duvall, piano. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like any additional info.
Please email Maureen at CrossingBordersConcerts @ gmail . com with scores. Audio samples are encouraged, but not at all necessary.
***Call is for perusal. Composers of works selected will be contacted to arrange score purchase.
A huge thank-you to those who joined me and Cheryl on the inaugural tour of Crossing Borders: A Celebration of New Music from New Mexico to Nova Scotia! We had a magnificent time in Halifax, Philadelphia, and Toronto! We’re already planning for season 2!
The day before our final concert, we found out that the SOCAN Foundation had approved our proposal and was supporting our Toronto event!! THANK YOU, SOCAN Foundation!!!
See Crossing Borders in Philadelphia and/or Toronto!
Our Philadelphia event will be at the beautiful and intimate Biello Martin Studio, Saturday, March 21, 7:30 PM. Tickets are by donation at the door, but you do need to reserve a spot! Please reserve your seat here: RSVP
Our third and final performance of this inaugural Crossing Borders concert will be presented in Toronto at Heliconian Hall on Friday, March 27, at 8:00 PM. You can purchase your tickets online or at the door. TICKETS
I am thrilled that the inaugural Crossing Borders: A Celebration of New Music from New Mexico to Nova Scotia was a success! We can’t wait to bring it to Philadelphia and Toronto in March! You can buy tickets to the Toronto concert HERE. This is a very special concert for me and Cheryl as we have met and worked with most of the composers presented on this programme. We do hope that you’ll be able to join us in March (if you’re not able to join us, you can still buy a ticket to support the event). Thanks for the love on this one.
Our concert in Halifax on Jan. 24, got rave reviews from Arts East:
Rather than Maureen Batt choosing her professional passion, it seems like it has chosen her. And luckily her body, mind and spirit have listened. Though no doubt she has devoted hours and years of sweat and drive to hone her lifework, she performing seems as natural an expression as breathing or blinking.
Saturday night was a very “dark and dreary” one in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While many may have decided to hide under warm blankets rather than venture out in the pounding rains, those fortunate to have found warmth inside St. Andrew’s Church were treated to a very special recital.
Soprano Maureen Batt and pianist Cheryl Duvall presented a wide array of pieces from North American composers, established and emerging, written between 1989 and 2014. Some songs were contemplative, others funny, some so traumatic—in theme, not presentation—they moistened the eyes.
Batt exemplified the versatility demanded of an opera singer and musical theatre artist alike—vocal chops, beautiful counterbalanced with raw emotional sounds, character-driven facial expression and movement, effectual timing. Duvall’s palpable expertise and mutual fervour for music’s intricacies, made for an ideal partner. Their chemistry was most obvious during the performance of “For broken and tired am I” (Matthew Emery & Archibald Lampman), a moving piece for both the artists and audience alike.
Those sitting in watch Saturday night witnessed songs performed in Canada for the very first time; they observed shoes flying, eyes speaking, laughter singing…animals almost hopping across a piano…a transfixing, multi-layered montage created by a looper pedal and Batt’s gorgeous voice…Crossing Borders was well worth venturing out on a dark and dreary night.
Maureen Batt & Cheryl Duvall present CROSSING BORDERS again on March 27th at Heliconian Hall, Toronto.
Maureen Batt’s next Halifax performance will be on February 14th with Opera Nova Scotia.