To Have and To Hold: MUO’s hybrid festival season

by | Aug 20, 2021 | Featured, News

Manitoba Underground Opera (MUO) is presenting an exciting line-up of hybrid productions for their 2021 festival season titled To Have and To Hold for their first return to live performances since the pandemic.

Two shows will headline the festival including a live performance and a drive-in opera  between August 25 and 27, on top of an original digital production premiering on August 19th and available until the end of the month.

In partnership with Willow Place, a local charity that provides violence prevention services, MUO’s digital production presents A Place of Healing. Consisting of music videos and interviews with experts on domestic violence and its effects, the visual album will be donating 100% of the sales to Willow Place in support of the work they do.

Opening the To Have and To Hold festival is Svadba and Bluebeard’s Castle, a hybrid digital/live double-bill on August 25 and 27. In Svadba, Canadian composer Ana Sokolović tells the story of a bride as she prepares for the next chapter of her life while exploring the themes of joy and nostalgia, while in Bluebeard’s Castle, composer Béla Bartók goes into the aftermath of her wedding, in this iteration. The performance will feature the bride, soprano Dawn Bruch-Wiens, live on stage while the other performers join via video projections.

To Have and To Hold Svadba and Bluebeard's Castle

Katherine Mayba and Janice Marple in MUO’s production of Svadba and Bluebeard’s Castle. Photo: Courtesy of Manitoba Underground Opera

On August 26, Béatrice et Bénédict combines Hector Berlioz‘s music and Shakespeare’s prose for a drive-in audience. The story follows a will they/won’t they romcom between Béatrice, played by mezzo-soprano Lizzy Hoyt, and Bénédict, played by tenor James McLennan. Live singers and orchestra will be transmitted over FM radio and LED screens on either side of the stage, ensuring audiences see every detail of the show from the comfort of their cars.

Tickets and more information about MUO’s To Have and To Hold Festival can be found here.

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