Musique 3 Femmes: The Next Wave Workshop

Musique 3 Femmes with Tapestry Opera Announces

The Next Wave Workshop

Presentation of operas by winners of inaugural $25,000
Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes, new prize supporting creation of operas by
emerging female and female-identifying composers and librettists in Canada

March 23, 2019 at Ernest Balmer Studio

In collaboration with stage directors Jessica Derventzis,
Amanda Smith, Anna Theodosakis, Aria Umezawa, Alaina Viau

(TORONTO) Musique 3 Femmes presents Canada’s first opera workshop to feature exclusively all-female creative teams in the development of five new operas by women in collaboration with directors Anna Theodosakis, Aria Umezawa, Jessica Derventzis, Alaina Viau, and Amanda Smith. The workshop sees a preview performance on March 19 at Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre as part of the Noon Hour Concert Series, and culminates in a staged evening performance in the Ernest Balmer Studio on March 23 at 7:30pm. The performance features Musique 3 Femmes artists soprano Suzanne Rigden, mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff, pianist Jennifer Szeto, and the participation of mentors JUNO-Award nominee composer James Rolfe and two-time Governor General award-winning playwright and librettist Colleen Murphy.


The project aims to put emerging female creative voices working in Canadian opera front and centre. “It was a thrill for us as an ensemble to uncover so much talent with this year’s prize,” states Musique 3 Femmes’s Jennifer Szeto. “We’re also excited that all teams have seen their works programmed by companies for further development and performances. It’s a testament to their promise as emerging creators in this field, and we’re pleased to create a new spotlight for their work.”

Works presented:


Singing Only Softly (Composer: Cecilia Livingston, Librettist: Monica Pearce, Director: Alaina Viau)

A song-cycle opera by Toronto composer Cecilia Livingston featuring an original libretto by Monica Pearce inspired by redacted texts from Anne Frank’s famous diary. The work explores Anne’s complex adolescence, her growing maturity, and her tumultuous relationship with her mother, Edith. Singing Only Softly is led at the Next Wave Workshop by Loose Tea Music Theatre Artistic Director, stage director Alaina Viau.

L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi (Composer: Laurence Jobidon, Librettist: Pascale St-Onge, Director: Aria Umezawa)

Amidst the harsh and cold weather of northern Quebec, Léa tries to reach a safe-house in order to protect herself and her unborn child. She meets Madeleine, a tormented woman who promises to lead her to the end of a road where no one else goes. L’hiver attend beaucoup de moi pays tribute to feminine solidarity and resilience, as well as to the strength of the Quebecois territory. The work is led by director and former San Francisco Opera Adler fellow Aria Umezawa and will see its premiere at Opéra de Montréal in March 2020.

Book of Faces (Composer: Kendra Harder, Librettist: Michelle Telford, Director: Jessica Derventzis)

“Nothing on Earth has prepared me for life like the Internet…” Book of Faces is a comic opera exploring the world of social media and two millennials for whom the struggle is just too real. The second collaboration between Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder and librettist Michelle Telford, Book of Faces sees a world premiere at Next Wave Workshop led by director and Artistic Director of Opera 5 Jessica Derventzis, and later performances as part of Highlands Opera Studio’s 2019 season.

Suites d’une ville morte (Composer: Margareta Jeric, Librettist: Naima Kristel Phillips, Director: Amanda Smith)

A woman returns to a place where she fell in love. She finds a piano on a heap of rubble. An exploration of the anatomy of a piano, this work examines the interplay of loss and connection in a world where everything can change in an instant. Based on the play Ghost Town Suites by Naima Kristel Phillips, Suites d’une ville morte is the first collaboration by Phillips with Croatian-Canadian composer Margareta Jeric. The work is in development for Toronto’s FAWN Chamber Creative, and is led here by FAWN founder and stage director Amanda Smith.

The Chair (Composer: Maria Atallah, Librettist: Alice Abracen, Director: Anna Theodosakis)

“You didn’t even know her name. You don’t even know my name.” With an original libretto by Abracen on a short story by Atallah, The Chair explores grief, loss, and friendship through the eyes of a teenager. Melanie loses her best friend in a tragic accident and returns to school to face throng of well-wishers and a mysterious new classmate. For the Next Wave Workshop, the piece is led by COC Ensemble dramatic coach and founder of Toronto’s Muse 9 Productions, stage director Anna Theodosakis.


Musique 3 Femmes is a Montreal-based ensemble which supports future female leaders in opera. In 2018, they launched the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes, a biennial $25,000 award which supports the creation and development of operas written by emerging female and female-identifying composers and librettists in Canada. The 2018 prize enabled the creation of five new French and English language operas by teams from all across Canada, which received a first workshop and performance in collaboration with Opera McGill in September 2018, including a featured performance at “Opera’s Changing Worlds”, a national summit co-hosted by, Opéra de Montréal, and Opera McGill. This season, Musique 3 Femmes is an Ensemble-In-Residence at Mount Allison University and Queen’s University’s DAN School of Music. Musique 3 Femmes comprises mezzo-soprano Kristin Hoff, coloratura soprano Suzanne Rigden, and pianist Jennifer Szeto. M3F gratefully acknowledges Canada Council for the Arts and the SOCAN Foundation for their support.


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2 Responses to Musique 3 Femmes: The Next Wave Workshop

  1. Pingback: Questions for Cecilia Livingston: Balancing the Score | barczablog

  2. Pingback: ELLES—Marina Thibeault | barczablog

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