THREE DECEMBERS Production and Cast
LITTLEOPERA.CA
Open wide and say awe!
OUR CAST
DIRECTORS & PRODUCTION
Canadian stage director Rob Herriot’s career has taken him across North America. He has directed productions of Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, Carmen, Rigoletto and Don Pasquale (Manitoba Opera), Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale (Livermore Valley Opera) La Traviata, Don Pasquale (Opera Hamilton), Carmen, Don Pasquale (Arizona Opera), Don Pasquale (Connecticut Opera, Utah Opera) New productions of Rigoletto (2019)HMS Pinafore (2018) Hansel and Gretel, and Magic Flute. Other productions for Edmonton include Turandot, Pirates of Penzance, La Fille Du Regiment, HMS Pinafore (Edmonton Opera-winner of a Sterling Award for Outstanding Musical of the Season); Tosca, The Mikado, La Cenerentola, all nominated for the Sterling Award’s Best Musical Production of their year. For Calgary Opera he has directed productions of Tosca and Barber of Seville, both nominated for Betty Mitchell awards for Best Musical of 2009 and 2018 seasons, as well as La Boheme for the 40th anniversary of the company. Other productions for Calgary include The Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance and Candide, as well as numerous shows for their Emerging Artists program. He created a touring production of Don Pasquale for Utah Opera which toured over three seasons and then produced it with the young artists of Tulsa Opera in 2005. He is currently a returning director for Opera Nuova, one of Canada’s young artist summer programs. As a teacher and mentor, he has directed productions of The Fairy Queen, Tartuffe Beatrice and Benedict, Don Giovanni, Oklahoma, La Boheme and Patience. Rob returns this summer to direct The Wizard of Oz at Rainbow stage, following past productions of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. He will also be returning to Manitoba Opera for next season’s Tosca.
Spencer Duncanson, Little Opera Company Artistic Director
Rob Herriot, Director
Lisa Rumpel, Assistant Music Director
Leanne Foley, Set / Costume Design
Leanne Foley hails from Australia and has called Winnipeg home for over 20 years. Over the course of her career, she has worked in the arts and in education as a classroom teacher, designer, writer, administrator, director, producer, arts instructor, and actor. Leanne has recently returned to her arts practice after ten years with the Manitoba Arts Council. She is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. Selected Theatre & Film Design: Age of Arousal, The Monster Trilogy, How to Kill Yourself with a Screwdriver (Theatre Projects); Assassins (Dry Cold Productions); Odyssey: the islands, The Tempest, Macbeth, As You Like It (SIR); A Year with Frog and Toad (MTYP & The Citadel); RICH, Honk, Seussical the Musical, Pipi Longstocking, Silver Wing, The Big League (MTYP), Death of a Salesman, Speed the Plow, Lebensraum, Einstein's Gift, Via Dolorosa (WJT), Jeff Erbach’s feature film The Nature of Nicholas, Sean Garrity's short film Re-Order
Praised for her "fierce artistry and sheer stamina" (Winnipeg Free Press), Canadian pianist Lisa Rumpel is passionate about communicating classical music to a variety of audiences. As an alumnus of the Franz Schubert Institute, Vancouver International Song Institute, Opera Nuova, University of Manitoba and Brandon University, Lisa is equally comfortable accompanying in art song, chamber music, opera, and choral accompanying. Since completing her Masters in Music (Collaborative Piano) in 2015, Lisa has been an active member of the Manitoba music community. She is Associate Director of Flipside Opera, has coached three productions of Manitoba Underground Opera, has been repetiteur for several productions of the University of Manitoba’s Opera Theatre program and is a frequent accompanist at the Winnipeg Music Festival and Faculty of Music recitals. Lisa is the accompanist of the Winnipeg Singers and, at our special events, she has performed in recital with sopranos Tracy Dahl and Lara Ciekiewicz, and has premiered several pieces by Winnipeg composer Sid Robinovitch. Lisa will accompany Lara for a concert at Music at the Millennium in 2019.
Soprano, Lara Ciekiewicz (Bea)
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the gripping title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing-actress. She is thrilled to return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May. This season also saw her as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), and as Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company. Further credits include: Jenůfa (Jenůfa); Tatyana (Eugene Onegin); Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus); Micaëla (Carmen); Cinderella (Into the Woods); Maria (The Sound of Music); Amelia (Simon Boccanegra); Liù (Turandot); Musetta (La Bohème); Nellie Forbush (South Pacific); Sylva (The Gypsy Princess); Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte); Alcina (Alcina); Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).
Canadian baritone, Sheldon Baxter, is a Master of Music graduate holder from the University of British Columbia opera program. He has studied in the vocal studios of Norman Bailey, Kristine Ciesinski, and Peter Barcza. During his professional career he has embodied numerous roles such as: Eugene Onegin »Eugene Onegin«, Count Almaviva »Le nozze di Figaro«, Revírník »Příhody lišky Bystroušky«, Guglielmo »Così fan tutte« and Le Dancaïre »Carmen«. Sheldon has performed on many international stages including: Semperoper Dresden, Landestheater Niederbayern Passau, Wexford Festival Opera, J.K. Tyl Theater Pilsen, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Hale Center Theatre Utah and Immling Festspiele. Upcoming roles include Jeremy »Le songe d'une nuit d'été« and soloist for »Cabaret Nights« with the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland. He resides in both Boston, MA and Dresden, Germany.
An artist who defies categorization, Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber has appeared on international operatic and concert stages (Paris, Chicago, New York City, London, Rome, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Montreal, Seattle and Toronto are among her stomping grounds) in a diverse and eclectic repertoire for over 30 years. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, CBC Records, Teldec and Dutton Classics. A passionate educator, she is Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and teaches around the world in a wide variety of contexts. A strong advocate for the operatic art form and passionate about its future, she enjoys writing and presenting for novices and aficionados alike.
Baritone, Sheldon Baxter (Charlie)
Naomi Woo, Music Director
Naomi Woo began her tenure with the WSO beginning at the start of the 2019-2020 season. The 29-year-old Canadian is a conductor, pianist, and musicologist whose interdisciplinary approach to performance and scholarship has captivated audiences in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Naomi has performed as a pianist in venues including Carnegie Hall and the Orpheum Theatre. Passionate about contemporary music, she has conducted and performed dozens of world premieres and other works by living composers. She recently placed second in the 2016 Eckhardt- Gramatté competition in Brandon for Canadian and contemporary music and was awarded the Prix Hélène-Roberge for the best performance of a Canadian work in 2015. Naomi holds a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University, and will soon complete a PhD in Musicology at Cambridge University in England as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her work has been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, and Help Musicians UK.
Mezzo-soprano, Kimberly Barber (Maddie)
Sam Hodge, Assistant Stage Manager
Sam Hodge stumbled upon his passion for theatre only a few short years ago. In that time he has taken part in multiple productions at both the University of Manitoba as well as the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. While he has found himself onstage on a handful of occasions, he quickly found his home designing and managing for anything and everything backstage. He is very humbled and excited to be working with such an amazing group of artists on the Little Opera Company’s production of Three Decembers.
STAGE MANAGEMENT
Open wide and say awe!
THREE DECEMBERS Production & Cast
DIRECTORS & PRODUCTION
OUR CAST
Canadian stage director Rob Herriot’s career has taken him across North America. He has directed productions of Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Boheme, Carmen, Rigoletto and Don Pasquale (Manitoba Opera), Barber of Seville, Don Pasquale (Livermore Valley Opera) La Traviata, Don Pasquale (Opera Hamilton), Carmen, Don Pasquale (Arizona Opera), Don Pasquale (Connecticut Opera, Utah Opera) New productions of Rigoletto (2019)HMS Pinafore (2018) Hansel and Gretel, and Magic Flute. Other productions for Edmonton include Turandot, Pirates of Penzance, La Fille Du Regiment, HMS Pinafore (Edmonton Opera- winner of a Sterling Award for Outstanding Musical of the Season); Tosca, The Mikado, La Cenerentola, all nominated for the Sterling Award’s Best Musical Production of their year. For Calgary Opera he has directed productions of Tosca and Barber of Seville, both nominated for Betty Mitchell awards for Best Musical of 2009 and 2018 seasons, as well as La Boheme for the 40th anniversary of the company. Other productions for Calgary include The Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance and Candide, as well as numerous shows for their Emerging Artists program. He created a touring production of Don Pasquale for Utah Opera which toured over three seasons and then produced it with the young artists of Tulsa Opera in 2005. He is currently a returning director for Opera Nuova, one of Canada’s young artist summer programs. As a teacher and mentor, he has directed productions of The Fairy Queen, Tartuffe Beatrice and Benedict, Don Giovanni, Oklahoma, La Boheme and Patience. Rob returns this summer to direct The Wizard of Oz at Rainbow stage, following past productions of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. He will also be returning to Manitoba Opera for next season’s Tosca.
Lisa Rumpel, Assistant Music Director
Leanne Foley, Set / Costume Design
Leanne Foley hails from Australia and has called Winnipeg home for over 20 years. Over the course of her career, she has worked in the arts and in education as a classroom teacher, designer, writer, administrator, director, producer, arts instructor, and actor. Leanne has recently returned to her arts practice after ten years with the Manitoba Arts Council. She is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. Selected Theatre & Film Design: Age of Arousal, The Monster Trilogy, How to Kill Yourself with a Screwdriver (Theatre Projects); Assassins (Dry Cold Productions); Odyssey: the islands, The Tempest, Macbeth, As You Like It (SIR); A Year with Frog and Toad (MTYP & The Citadel); RICH, Honk, Seussical the Musical, Pipi Longstocking, Silver Wing, The Big League (MTYP), Death of a Salesman, Speed the Plow, Lebensraum, Einstein's Gift, Via Dolorosa (WJT), Jeff Erbach’s feature film The Nature of Nicholas, Sean Garrity's short film Re-Order
Praised for her "fierce artistry and sheer stamina" (Winnipeg Free Press), Canadian pianist Lisa Rumpel is passionate about communicating classical music to a variety of audiences. As an alumnus of the Franz Schubert Institute, Vancouver International Song Institute, Opera Nuova, University of Manitoba and Brandon University, Lisa is equally comfortable accompanying in art song, chamber music, opera, and choral accompanying. Since completing her Masters in Music (Collaborative Piano) in 2015, Lisa has been an active member of the Manitoba music community. She is Associate Director of Flipside Opera, has coached three productions of Manitoba Underground Opera, has been repetiteur for several productions of the University of Manitoba’s Opera Theatre program and is a frequent accompanist at the Winnipeg Music Festival and Faculty of Music recitals. Lisa is the accompanist of the Winnipeg Singers and, at our special events, she has performed in recital with sopranos Tracy Dahl and Lara Ciekiewicz, and has premiered several pieces by Winnipeg composer Sid Robinovitch. Lisa will accompany Lara for a concert at Music at the Millennium in 2019.
Soprano, Lara Ciekiewicz (Bea)
Recently hailed for her “tour-de-force performance” (Winnipeg Free Press) in the gripping title role of Manitoba Opera’s Susannah, Lara has established herself as a dynamic, intelligent, and moving singing- actress. She is thrilled to return to the NAC’s stage with Opera on the Avalon, reprising the role of May. This season also saw her as Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) and Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Il Trittico, as a soloist for the Victoria Symphony’s Messiah, make her Edmonton Opera debut as the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), and as Beatrice (Three Decembers) for the Little Opera Company. Further credits include: Jenůfa (Jenůfa); Tatyana (Eugene Onegin); Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus); Micaëla (Carmen); Cinderella (Into the Woods); Maria (The Sound of Music); Amelia (Simon Boccanegra); Liù (Turandot); Musetta (La Bohème); Nellie Forbush (South Pacific); Sylva (The Gypsy Princess); Fiordiligi (Così Fan Tutte); Alcina (Alcina); Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).
Canadian baritone, Sheldon Baxter, is a Master of Music graduate holder from the University of British Columbia opera program. He has studied in the vocal studios of Norman Bailey, Kristine Ciesinski, and Peter Barcza. During his professional career he has embodied numerous roles such as: Eugene Onegin »Eugene Onegin«, Count Almaviva »Le nozze di Figaro«, Revírník »Příhody lišky Bystroušky«, Guglielmo »Così fan tutte« and Le Dancaïre »Carmen«. Sheldon has performed on many international stages including: Semperoper Dresden, Landestheater Niederbayern Passau, Wexford Festival Opera, J.K. Tyl Theater Pilsen, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Hale Center Theatre Utah and Immling Festspiele. Upcoming roles include Jeremy »Le songe d'une nuit d'été« and soloist for »Cabaret Nights« with the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland. He resides in both Boston, MA and Dresden, Germany.
An artist who defies categorization, Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber has appeared on international operatic and concert stages (Paris, Chicago, New York City, London, Rome, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Montreal, Seattle and Toronto are among her stomping grounds) in a diverse and eclectic repertoire for over 30 years. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, CBC Records, Teldec and Dutton Classics. A passionate educator, she is Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and teaches around the world in a wide variety of contexts. A strong advocate for the operatic art form and passionate about its future, she enjoys writing and presenting for novices and aficionados alike.
Baritone, Sheldon Baxter (Charlie)
Naomi Woo began her tenure with the WSO beginning at the start of the 2019-2020 season. The 29-year-old Canadian is a conductor, pianist, and musicologist whose interdisciplinary approach to performance and scholarship has captivated audiences in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Naomi has performed as a pianist in venues including Carnegie Hall and the Orpheum Theatre. Passionate about contemporary music, she has conducted and performed dozens of world premieres and other works by living composers. She recently placed second in the 2016 Eckhardt-Gramatté competition in Brandon for Canadian and contemporary music and was awarded the Prix Hélène- Roberge for the best performance of a Canadian work in 2015. Naomi holds a BA in Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University, and will soon complete a PhD in Musicology at Cambridge University in England as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her work has been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, and Help Musicians UK.
Naomi Woo, Music Director
Rob Herriot, Director
Sam Hodge, Assistant Stage Manager
Sam Hodge stumbled upon his passion for theatre only a few short years ago. In that time he has taken part in multiple productions at both the University of Manitoba as well as the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. While he has found himself onstage on a handful of occasions, he quickly found his home designing and managing for anything and everything backstage. He is very humbled and excited to be working with such an amazing group of artists on the Little Opera Company’s production of Three Decembers.
STAGE MANAGEMENT
Mezzo-soprano, Kimberly Barber (Maddie)
Spencer Duncanson, Little Opera Company Artistic Director
littleopera.ca