Glitter & Fall: A Gala Poetry/Music Recital

Monday, November 25
7:00 pm Eckhardt Gramatté Hall, University of Winnipeg
Free Admission


An exquisite program of new music featuring Di Brandt's poems and translations, by Canadian composers David Lidov, Kenneth Nichols, and Jana Skarecky. Performances by Winnipeg's own Tracy Dahl, Lizzy Hoyt, Rosemarie van der Hooft, Richard Turner, Megan Dufrat, Micah Heilbrunn, Laura Loewen and Mel Braun with the University of Manitoba's Desautels Chorale.

In celebration of the completion of her two-year term as Poet Laureate, Di Brandt has created an event celebrating the collaborative aspect of poetic practice. the evening will feature several of Di’s works, presented through music and voice. Some of Winnipeg’s finest artists are included on the bill, and the Winnipeg Arts Council is pleased to partner with the University of Winnipeg to offer this incredible event absolutely free!


As Winnipeg's Poet Laureate, I have understood the position to involve the creation of poetry that speaks for, to and about our city as the shared living space of hundreds of thousands of people.  The creative challenge of the appointment has helped me to grow in my poetic practice, and to deepen my imaginative vision.  I’m pleased that my final project is to share some of my work with such tremendous collaborators.

- Di Brandt


Please join us in this celebration of Winnipeg’s first Poet Laureate. It takes place at Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall on Monday November 25, with the curtain rising at 7:00 pm. Tickets are not required.

The Performances

Songs of Dark Marvels. Poetry by Di Brandt, music by David Lidov
i. Dreamsong; ii. Castle Walk
Lizzy Hoyt (soprano) with Laura Loewen (piano)

Emily, the Way You Are. A Chamber Opera. Libretto by Di Brandt, musical score by Jana Skarecky
i. Wild Woman; ii. The Sisters; iv. The Artist
Rosemarie Van Der Hooft (mezzo soprano) with Laura Loewen (piano)

Drei Deutsche Kinderlieder. Traditional German Folksongs. English translations by Di Brandt, musical settings for choir and piano by Kenneth Nichols
Goldene Abendsonne, Die Heimat, und Frühlingslied
The Desaultels Chorale conducted by Mel Braun, with Megan Dufrat (piano)

Poetry Reading from Glitter & fall: Laozi's Dao De Jing, Transinhalations, by Di Brandt.

Coyotes do not carry her away. Poems from Glitter & fall, by Di Brandt, music by Kenneth Nichols
Tracy Dahl (soprano), Micah Heilbrunn (clarinet) and Richard Turner (harp)

The Composers

DAVID LIDOV of Toronto is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre who has written for chamber groups, as well as music for voice, choir, and orchestra. Using computers, he has researched the musical applications of mathematical linguistics and the relationships between the logic of phrasing in music and grammar in speech. He has published two books, Elements of Semiotics, and Is Music a Language?

KENNETH NICHOLS of Brandon, Manitoba, has written several works for the stage including two operas and numerous ballet scores, as well as choral, chamber music and piano pieces. His work has been widely performed, in both professional and community settings, including churches, schools and festivals. His overture Symphonic Celebration was performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Winnipeg's experimental choral groups Camerata Nova and Polycoro performed new choral works by Kenneth Nichols in recent years.

JANA SKARECKY of Bimbrook, Ontario, has composed more than 90 works for voice, choir, solo instruments, chamber ensembles and orchestra, which have been widely performed across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Highlights include Kata Tjuta, Valley of the Winds, premiered by the Penderecki Quartet; and Magdalene Mass, premiered by the St. Mary Magdalene Choir of Toronto.

The Performers

DI BRANDT is Winnipeg’s first Poet Laureate, serving for 2018 & 2019. She is an internationally renowned, multiple award-winning poet, author, essayist and literary critic who has published several volumes of poetry including her most recent, Glitter & fall: Laozi's Dao De Jing, Transinhalations (Turnstone Press 2018). Her work has won numerous awards, including the McNally Robinson Award for Manitoba Book of the Year, the CAA National Poetry Prize, and the Gabrielle Roy Prize for best book of literary criticism in Canada. Di has held research and writing positions at the Universities of Alberta, Manitoba, Windsor and Brandon. She currently works as an instructor at the University of Winnipeg.

TRACY DAHL is Canada's premiere coloratura soprano and Winnipeg's musical superstar! She has appeared with such opera houses at Teatro all Scala in Milan, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Calgary Opera and the Manitoba Opera. In 2017, Ms. Dahl was awarded the Order of Canada for her performing career and her work mentoring and teaching the next generation of singers.

MEL BRAUN is a well-known and much loved baritone singer and versatile performer, equally at home in oratorio, recital and opera. He has performed early music across Canada, and in Winnipeg, with Canzona and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. His new music performances include appearances with Manitoba Opera, the Winnipeg New Music Festival and Toronto's New Music Gallery. Mel Braun heads up the Vocal Program at the University of Manitoba's Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music, and can also be found on YouTube giving a lesson on how to cheer loudly at a Jets game without hurting your vocal chords! Here he conducts the Desautels Chorale, with piano collaboration by Laura Loewen.

THE DESAUTELS CHORALE directed by Mel Braun is a vocal chamber group drawn from the Oratorio Seminar at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. Normally this choir explores solo arias that illustrate the most dramatic of the Old Testament stories, but from time to time sings together as a chorus, and what better subject to ground us than a set of German Children’s songs and their exquisite choral settings by Manitoba composer Kenneth Nichols.

MEGAN DUFRAT is a graduate of the Desautels Faculty of Music MFA program in Collaborative Piano at the University of Manitoba, where she received numerous honours. She has performed in master classes with Jon Kimura Parker, the Gryphon Trio, Alan Lefevre and Robert Kortgaar, and has been a featured performer at the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival in St. John's, Newfoundland. She worked with the Manitoba Underground opera as a répétiteur for their productions of Cendrillon and Alicna, and was the music director and pianist for Three Little Birds production of Little Red's Most Unusual Day, an opera for children. Megan Dufrat teaches Collaborative Piano at the University of Manitoba's Desautels Faculty of Music.

MICAH HEILBRUNN is currently principal clarinet of the WSO. Before coming to Winnipeg, Mhe served as principal clarinet with the Symphony Nova Scotia. He has been a featured artist at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Agassiz Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival and the Scotia Festival of Music, and has been heard in broadcasts both on the CBC and National Public Radio. Micah has been an active orchestral and chamber musician, and has appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra the National Ballet of Canada and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

LIZZY HOYT is a well known and award-winning Canadian Celtic-folk artist, who performs at festivals, clubs, performing arts halls, and elsewhere across Canada year round. Lauded for her clarity and precision as a singer, Lizzie is also known for her mastery of the fiddle, mandolin, guitar and harp. Lizzy has released four independent albums and two music videos, and she was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for her outstanding contribution to commemorating Canadian veterans and history through music.

LAURA LOEWEN is one of Winnipeg's most admired collaborative pianists. She has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and chamber ensembles in a career that has taken her throughout North America, Europe, Asia and South America. She and her duo partner saxophonist Allen Harrington have been performing together for more than a decade and are acclaimed for their virtuosic, musical, and electrifying performances. Loewen is also a founding member of two trios, The Galileo Trio with Kerry duWors (violin) and Mark Rudoff (cello) and Emerado with Rosemarie van der Hooft (mezzo-soprano) and Mel Braun (baritone). She appears here with the Desaultels Chorale conducted by her University of Manitoba School of Music colleague Mel Braun.

RICHARD TURNER has served as the principal harpist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for more than 40 years. He has also performed with the Civic Orchestra in Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Philadelphia, the Baltimore Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. He has appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra and at the Banff Festival. He has been featured on CBC TV and Radio, and is recognized internationally for his innovations in harp regulation and adjustment. Richard hosts the popular Millennium Summer Music Series in downtown Winnipeg each year.

ROSEMARIE VAN DER HOOFT is one of Winnipeg's best known mezzo-sopranos, known for her expressive performances of baroque and contemporary works. She enjoys an illustrious international career, having performed with Toronto's Tafelmusik, the New York Collegium, the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, and the English Aldeburgh Festival, as well as frequently appearing here in Winnipeg, with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Groundswell, among others. She has taught at the University of Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University, and currently works privately with singers as a teacher and wellness coach, offering mindfulness meditation and yoga instruction as well as musical guidance.