Katherine Twaddle

"My teaching at the Desautels Faculty of Music can be divided into four different roles: director, coach, instructor and mentor. My approach to each role is supported by my belief in teaching holistically. I believe that a singer's instrument is their whole body and work with our students to help them develop skills that involve the complete body, mind and spirit. My teaching philosophy involves encouraging students in the development of their artistic curiosity and love for what they do. Both of these qualities are the driving force behind striving for artistic and technical excellence." - Katherine Twaddle

Katherine Twaddle enjoys a career that is rich in directing and teaching activities.  She has worked as a staff director with most of the major opera companies in the UK, including English National Opera, Scottish Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.  Directing engagements in Canada have included Puccini's Madama Butterfly for Manitoba Opera, Janacek's Jenufa in Edmonton and Puccini's Manon Lescaut for Calgary Opera. Katherine has also worked as Assistant Director for such companies as La Zarzuela in Madrid, the Festival Aix en Provence in France and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the USA. She began her association with the University of Manitoba as director of the Opera Workshop in 2002.  In January of 2003 Katherine and Mel Braun began looking for a way to expand this course into a post-graduate training programme. This led to the creation of the University of Manitoba Opera Apprenticeship in 2004, now known as Advanced Opera Studies.

B.Music (Toronto)
P.G.C.E. Drama  (Middlesex)

Katherine trained in operatic stage direction at the Banff Centre over the summers of 1987 to 1989 and continued her training with a year in residence at the English National Opera.

Recent performance projects include creating and directing condensed productions of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Handel’s Rinaldo, Rossini’s La Cenerentola and a Mozart pastiche entitled Life in the Key of Genius in a collaboration between the U of M Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre.  Fall of 2018 brings a production of M.A. Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants by the newly formed Desautels Chamber Opera Group in collaboration with various areas of the Arts at the U of M, to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.  The event is entitled Mightier Than the Sword.


Recent research projects include exploration of Physical Theatre, with a focus on the work of Michael Chekhov, as well as interpretation and performance practice of Shakespeare’s text. Her present research focus is in historical baroque gesture.

Creative activity outside of directing is focussed on libretto writing, with the creation of Angela and Her Sisters with composer Dean Burry for the Opera Theatre 2010 school tour. Other works include libretti on the Winnipeg General Strike and Great Expectations, both in progress. She has also created English performance translations of Hansel and Gretel and Mozart’s Bastien et Bastienne.

Opera Studies Coordinator
Opera Theatre
    - Stage Director and Program Coordinator
    - Includes the Biannual Opera production with the UMSO, Opera Theatre School Tour, and Desautels Chamber Opera Group

Advanced Opera Studies
Performance Skills
Interpretation Coach
Apprenticeship in Stage Direction

Room 249 Taché Hall
Desautels Faculty of Music
University of Manitoba
136 Dafoe Road   
Winnipeg, MB. R3T 2N2
Phone: 204-272-1593
Email: Katherine.Twaddle@umanitoba.ca