Exciting News!

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 Opera HERE.

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!

NEW OPERA CANADA REVIEWS:

Time of Trouble by Elizabeth Raum, libretto by Rex Deverell, with Maritime Concert Opera, October 2016.

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

Maureen during her Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour. Photo by Monica Pearce

 

 

CALL FOR WORKS

CALL FOR WORKS – OPEN TO ALL COMPOSERS

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.

 

 

Inaugural Crossing Borders concert a success!

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.

http://artseast.blogspot.ca/2015/01/crossing-borders-review.html