Naomi Forman Productions - Brandon, MB
V.12 - WAG - Muriel Richardson Auditorium 
"There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now." - Eugene O’Neill

Dreams dashed, a marriage in ruins, a child lost and found, BEFORE BREAKFAST: An Opera in One Act is the story of a family struggling to survive, after the play of the same name by EUGENE O’NEILL.

Directed by Mariam Bernstein, the opera is set in New York’s Greenwich Village, circa 1916. Past Fringe shows by Forman Productions include multiple 4 STAR reviews and “powerhouse vocals” for soprano Naomi Forman.

Cast: Naomi Forman, Anne Forman

Show Info:
45 Minutes



No warnings

Fri July 15 7:30 PM*
*(2 for $12)
Tue July 19 2:00 PM
Wed July 20 2:00 PM
Thu July 21 7:30 PM
Fri July 22 7:30 PM


Naomi Forman Productions—WAG – Muriel Richardson Auditorium

I love opera and I am very happy to see it represented here at Fringe. This festival showcases many of the arts but opera often slips through the cracks. There’s probably a reason for it since opera is not exactly the prime entertainment in central Canada. All of my opera experience has been from the great Italian and German composers. Thomas Pasatieri is a contemporary composer born in New York in 1945. Before the show started, I was very curious as to what the music of a “modern” composer sounds like.

It’s hard to judge how the music would sound if it was backed by a full symphony but with just a piano, it sets a nice backdrop to the main event: the superb vocals of Prima Donna Forman. Forman is a voice instructor at the University of Brandon, as well as a performer with Manitoba Opera and the WSO. It is truly a treat to see her perform at Fringe.

As with most tragedies, this opera hits the lowest notes of human emotion, digging to the depths of how despicable humanity can be. I’m used to operas being ~200 minutes long and 45 minutes is a tease. Really, it left me wanting more. When people ask me to explain the plot of an opera to them, the story takes less than a minute to relate. However, the plot development and progression takes a while. At a mere 45 minutes, there isn’t enough time to develop a plot and explore it. It’s like a summary of a play and I want more. But again, I’m an opera veteran; for a veteran novice, perhaps this is long enough.

Whether you have been listening to opera for ages, or never at all, this is a great show to try out. As a bonus, we see a bit of ballet to go with Forman’s spectacular voice. This is my don’t miss show of the year.

Ray Yuen