Noted by Opera Canada as a “young, lovely and captivating soprano,” and by the Halifax Herald as being “enthusiastically at home on stage” and having an “endlessly energetic and animated interpretation,” Maureen Batt is an accomplished concert and opera artist.
Maureen’s opera credits include Belinda, Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Silvia, L’isola disabitata(Haydn), Lauretta, Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), Rosa, Il campanello (Donizetti), Polly, The Threepenny Opera/Die Dreigroschenoper (Weill), Morgana, Alcina (Händel), Nina,Chérubin (Massenet), Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Eusebia, Die Freunde von Salamanka (Schubert), Jenny, La Dame Blanche (Boieldieu), Papagena, Die Zauberflöte(Mozart), Zerlina, Don Giovanni (Mozart), Annina, La Traviata (Verdi), Despina, Così fan tutte (Mozart), Laetitia, The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti), Serpina, The Maid Mistress(Pergolesi), Limonia, Ten Belles Without a Ring (Von Suppe), Miss Silverpeal, The Impresario (Mozart).
As an actor, she has appeared in Theatre St. Thomas University’s productions of Measure for Measure, Oh, What a Lovely War, and Caucasian Chalk Circle. She filmed a TV pilot for a series called Oznaberg, which premiered in the 2011 Silverwave Film Festival, and has since aired on Rogers Television.
Her selected concert and oratorio credits include Handel’s Messiah and Esther, Mozart’sVesperae solennes de Confessore and Exsultate Jubilate, Bach’s BWV 187 Es wartet alles auf dich, BWV 4 Christ lag in Todes Banden, and BWV 245 St. John Passion.
Maureen’s formal training includes 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. She is an alumna of the St. Andrews Opera by the Sea workshop, the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, and the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Italy, and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (CO-SI).
She is equally at home in opera, oratorio, cabaret, musical theatre, art song, and contemporary music. An avid supporter and promoter of new Canadian music, Maureen has both commissioned and premièred many works by emerging and established composers. She performed in a number of the Toy Piano Composers’ seasons, including the Opera Scenestersproduction; performed in Toronto Operetta Theatre’s TAPTOO! première; participated in a singer-composer collaborative workshop in Halifax called Opera from Scratch; performed in the 2013 Tapestry Songbook New Opera 101 program; and participated in the Contemporary Performance Studies program at the Vancouver International Song Institute, where she performed works by living Canadian composers, and worked with composers Jake Heggie and Jeffrey Ryan. She has created the roles of Helen (Aunt Helen, Pearce), Keri Ferrell (Hipster Grifter, Denburg), Lorelei Henderson (Stockholm Syndrome, Ryan), Bride (Cake, Pearce), Hannah (Hannah & Paige and the Zombie Pirates, Thornborrow), Dorothy Parker (Etiquette, Pearce), Anna (Regina, Denburg), and Cindy (Heather:Cindy + Mindy =BFFS 4EVER, Thornborrow).
Maureen is the co-artistic director of Essential Opera. Founded in 2010, Essential Opera is committed to presenting a wide variety of concert opera works, ranging from the Baroque to contemporary. Essential Opera has been invited to perform with organizations around Ontario including Open Ears Festival and New Hamburg Live. Essential Opera opened Season 5 with Gluck’s Paride ed Elena (Amor) in September 2014 in Toronto, and in Kitchener and closed with Essential Zarzuela! including Vives’ Bohemios (Cossette). The company has premièred a triple bill of new Canadian operas and will be remounting Etiquetteby Monica Pearce and Regina by Elisha Denburg with Opera Lyra in October 2015. Essential Opera has also been invited by the Gilsig Series to remount Regina in Halifax in October 2015. For more information, please visit the Essential Opera Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
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. And, with the St. James Choir in Toronto, she sang for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg.
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 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.