A Song For All Times

A program of your favourite Opera Excerpts with NB’s favourite Opera Stars.
Sally Dibble (soprano) and Paul Bustin (baritone) with Maestro Michael Newnham.

November 13, 2017
Moncton: Capitol Theatre

November 14, 2017
Fredericton: The Playhouse

November 15, 2017
Saint John: Imperial Theatre

Bravo series concerts are preceded by a pre-concert talk at 6:30pm. Performance begins at 7:30pm.




The November Concert features two of New Brunswick’s favourite opera talents. Join Sally Dibblee and Paul Bustin for an evening of Opera focused on two of the most well known and loved operas, The Marriage of Figaro and Madam Butterfly, directed by SNB’s Maestro Michael Newnham.


With attention to the proximity of the concerts to November 11th, Paul Bustin will also perform Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach, written from a poem by Matthew Arnold during WW2 for strings and Baritone.


The sea is calm to-night.

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; —on the French coast the light

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

Only, from the long line of spray

Where the sea meets the moon-blanch’d land,

Listen! you hear the grating roar

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,

At their return, up the high strand,

Begin, and cease, and then again begin,

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring

The eternal note of sadness in

Samuel Barber: Dover Beach Op3 (1931)
Dover Beach was written when Barber was a twenty one year old student at the  Curtis Institute and represents the first of his extended pieces for voice and ensemble.  Barber, a singer with a fine baritone voice, was in some demand as a recitalist, a singularly unusual role for a composer and he made the first recording of Dover Beach.  Barber had a rather melancholy nature and preferred solitary interests to the usual combative sports popular in his day.  In this way he might seem to have been at odds with the competitive nature of the society in which he lived.  Setting the poem Dover Beach seems an apt reflection of his personality. Dover Beach is a poem by Matthew Arnold that is deeply pessimistic. Arnold’s view is that material progress does not protect us from conflict. The moonlit world of the viewer on the Dover Cliffs is beautiful but unreal, just a dream. The true world is one of darkness “where ignorant armies clash by night.” The rich imagery of the poem enabled Barber to reveal the poem’s nuances through descriptive musical details e.g. rocking figures in the string parts represent shifting light on the sea, the restrained section, “And Sophocles….” reflecting a more reasoned state of mind. The work gradually builds up through shorter and repeated phrases to an impassioned conclusion, “Ah, love, let us be true to one another!”, where previous images take on full emotional weight.  The piece ends as tranquilly as it began, with the wavelike movements of the beginning.


Paul Bustin, baritone


His performances have been featured in broadcasts on CBC

Radio, Radio Canada as well as National Public Radio (NPR)

in the United States and he has been a featured performer on stages in St Louis,

Indianapolis, Knoxville, Bloomington and Toronto as well as

the Maritimes.


“Mr. Bustin posseses an impressive, resonant baritone voice of

wide range and outstanding flexibility. He is a convincing

operatic interpreter and artist”.

Giorgio Tozzi


Recent symphonic performances include: Requiem, W.A. Mozart; The Seasons,

Haydn; The Messiah, G.F Handel; A God Disguised, Larsson; Requiem, Liszt;

The Ninth Symphony, L.V. Beethoven and the German Requiem, Brahms.


Mr. Bustin performed in May, 2008 at the Vatican in Rome as well as St. Peter’s Basilica as guest Soloist of the Choeur Neil Michaud. After Rome, Paul and the all-Acadian Male Choir continued their European tour with performances in Parma, Milan, Genoa, Nice, Provence and Barcelona, Spain.


Mr. Bustin began vocal studies at Mount Allison University and later received a scholarship to study with the Opera Department at Indiana University. Operatic roles include: “Golaud” in Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande; “Zuniga” in Bizet’s Carmen; “Leandre” in Prokofiev’s L’amour des Trois Oranges; “Baron” in Verdi’s La Traviata as well as both “Angelotti” and the “Sacristan” in Puccini’s Tosca.


Mr. Bustin has been a featured soloist with The Knoxville Symphony and Indianapolis Opera and was heard on National Public Radio (NPR) when he created the role of “Enrico Fermi” in The Woman at Otowi Crossing with Opera Theater of Saint Louis.

Sally Dibblee

Critically acclaimed as a “tour-de-force of vocal control and expressive flexibility”, soprano Sally Dibblee has enjoyed a career of 20 years in opera houses and concert halls throughout North America.  Born in Woodstock, New Brunswick Ms. Dibblee now lives in Fredericton with her husband and 2 sons.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University and received a Diploma in Operatic Studies from the University of Toronto, where she studied with the wonderful Canadian soprano Lois Marshall.  She was a member of the Opera Ensemble of the Canadian Opera Company and had her mainstage debuts with the COC in the roles of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Musetta in La Boheme.

Having prepared and performed over 30 opera roles and an extensive repertoire of concert works, Ms. Dibblee brings to her teaching studio a methodology grounded in years of applied healthy singing technique.  She has sung principal roles in most of the major opera houses in Canada and in California, Utah, Arizona and Kentucky. She has performed as guest soloist with the Toronto and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, Calgary Philharmonic, and with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico. Performance highlights include many of opera great prima donnas – Mimi from Puccini’s La Boheme, Desdemona from Verdi’s Otello, Lucia from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and Violetta from Verdi’s La Traviata, the Canadian premiere of Pat Nixon from John Adams Nixon in China and the world premiere of Randolph Peters’ Nosferatu, and soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana.  Upcoming is the Canadian premiere of Silent Night by Kevin Puts.

She is an active adjudicator in the Maritimes both at regional and provincial levels and gives frequent vocal masterclasses across Canada.  Sally is very pleased and proud to be a faculty member of her alma mater.

Ms. Dibblee is featured on an ECMA 2007 nominated disc with the Saint John String Quartet and on Le Souvenir, Canadian Songs for Parlour and Stage with acclaimed baritone Russell Braun.

The Marriage of Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro K. 492, is an opera buffa (comic opera) in four acts composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Italian libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna on 1 May 1786. The opera’s libretto is based on a stage comedy by Pierre BeaumarchaisLa folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro (“The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro”), which was first performed in 1784. It tells how the servants Figaro and Susanna succeed in getting married, foiling the efforts of their philandering employer Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna and teaching him a lesson in fidelity.


Madam Butterfly

Madama Butterfly is an opera in three acts (originally two) by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.

It is based on the short story “Madame Butterfly” (1898) by John Luther Long, which in turn was based on stories told to Long by his sister Jennie Correll and on the semi-autobiographical 1887 French novel Madame Chrysanthème by Pierre Loti.[1][2][3] Long’s version was dramatized by David Belasco as the one-act play Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan, which, after premiering in New York in 1900, moved to London, where Puccini saw it in the summer of that year