The Minnesota Opera knows how to keep their regular audiences coming back show after show, but their ability to draw in new fans is as equally impressive. For anyone who loves to hear powerful singing, the Minnesota Opera regularly recruits men and women who can sing, without mics, above the volume of a live orchestra. Those are some powerful pipes. For the Minnesota Opera's upcoming show, Mary Stuart, they cast two female leads: Judith Howard and Brenda Harris. The duo will star as the "dueling divas."
Not a company to leave anyone out of the loop, the Minnesota Opera is presenting "Brew and View with the Queen 2: Dueling Divas" at Brit's Pub. The discussion will center around the upcoming show, which is about two headstrong women--Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots--fighting for the same man, but also the English throne. Devious plots surely abound.[jump]
Judith Howarth, cast as Mary, Queen of Scots and Brenda Harris as Queen Elizabeth, along with the opera's director Kevin Newbury will discuss the lives of these two famous women in history while Mary Dibbern, Head of Music at the Minnesota Opera, moderates. It will be a casual affair, and attendees are welcome to enjoy a brew (specials for the event include $4 Newcastle and Strongbow) and Brit's full menu.
There will also be a screening at 4:30 p.m. of John Ford's 1936 film Mary of Scotland following the discussion. This love story stars Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, and Florence Eldridge. That's an impressive cast, sure, but none of them belt out an aria like Howarth and Harris.
Mary Stuart starts at the Minnesota Opera on January 29 and runs through February 6. Catch the round table discussion "Brew and View with the Queen 2: Dueling Divas" at Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment on Sunday, January 9 at 3 p.m. Brit's is located at 1110 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.