“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 (she/her) is celebrated for her “rich, warm sound and masterful acting” (Opera Canada). Maureen focuses on celebrating Western classical contemporary repertoire by collaborating with established and emerging composers to commission, première, and re-perform their works.
Discography: Her latest album, Lighthouse (August 2021), is a collaboration with Grej, and follows a journey of grief through a love story, combining classical and electronic genres. This album won ECMA Classical Recording of the Year 2022. Other recent releases include: Aunt Helen (May 2021), a one-act opera by Monica Pearce about Dr. Helen Creighton nominated for Music Nova Scotia’s Classical Recording of the Year (2021); and Mirror, Mirror (March 2021), a one-act opera by Anna Pidgorna about the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. 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. Maureen is also featured on Breathing in the Shadows (2020) singing a cycle by Iranian-Canadian composer Saman Shahi for which he received a 2022 JUNO nomination. All releases are on Leaf Music, distributed through Naxos, and available for purchase and streaming on all platforms.
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 over 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 Western classical and non-Western-classical styles. Maureen completed the first level of The LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™, and gleefully continues 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 has been on faculty as vocal coach at the Halifax Summer Opera Festival for Massenet’s Cendrillon, Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Händel’s Alcina, and Gluck’s Armide. Maureen teaches voice, offers workshops and playshops 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.
Maureen has created many Canadian opera roles, including Helen (Aunt Helen), Dorothy Parker (Etiquette), Bride (Cake), and Top Priority Air Customer Service representative and security guard (December) by Monica Pearce; Anna (Regina) and Keri Ferrell (Hipster Grifter) by Elisha Denburg; Cindy (Heather: Cindy + Mindy =BFFS 4EVER) and Hannah (Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates) by Christopher Thornborrow; Lorelie Henderson (Stockholm Syndrome) by Fiona Ryan; and Sister Mary Francis (Time of Trouble) by ElizabethRaum.
She has been engaged by the Open Waters Festival, Vocalypse Productions, Orchestra Toronto, Classics by the Bay, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, VoiceBox, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Maritime Concert Opera, Opera Nova Scotia, New Hamburg Live!, Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound, Whale Song Theatre, The Toy Piano Composers, performed as part of Neptune Theatre’s bonus features with her trio Diva Station, and has performed recitals across Canada, the United States, and Colombia.
Selected opera credits from standard Western classical repertoire include Musetta, La Bohème (Puccini), Valencienne, The Merry Widow (Léhar), 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 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.