Opera Studies Coordinator 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.

  • In the faculty

Education

Ms. Twaddle 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.

 

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 TwaddleInstructor, Desautels Faculty of Music

Performance highlights

Ms. Twaddle 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.

She 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, Ms. Twaddle and Professor Mel Braun began looking for a way to expand this course into a post-graduate training program, which ultimately led to the creation of the University of Manitoba Opera Apprenticeship in 2004, now known as Advanced Opera Studies.

Notable 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 University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra and UM Opera Theatre. The fall of 2018 brought a production of M.A. Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants by the Desautels Chamber Opera Group in collaboration with various areas of the Arts at the University of Manitoba. The production, entitled Mightier Than the Sword, marked the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Ongoing research and creative works

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 focused 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.