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Exciting News!

It has been almost a year since the world premiere of the Kootenay’s new opera, KHAOS.  We were extremely gratified by the tremendous support and enthusiastic response KHAOS received at that time and we hoped that meant there was a future for the new work beyond our efforts here in the Kootenays.

Since last spring we have been working to bring the work to the attention of the wider operatic world with a view to having it mounted by other opera companies.

This month our efforts have finally been rewarded – and in a very big way.

#1.  KHAOS will be one of only four new operas selected by New York based, OPERA America (the umbrella organization of North American opera companies and opera professionals), to be showcased at the NEW WORKS SAMPLER event of their annual Opera Conference – this year taking place in Vancouver, BC from May 7 to 11.  This conference is without doubt the best opportunity any new opera could hope to have for making itself known to the people best placed to consider mounting it by their own opera companies.



#2.  The Boston Metro Opera advised us a few days later that KHAOS had been selected by their “2013 International Composers Competition” to receive a “Directors Choice Award.”  Their website indicates that operas given this award will be performed by the Boston Metro Opera as part of the regular operatic season.

Click on the link to download the full news release.

Khaos News Release




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Production Week

Well….production week is almost upon us and all the elements are in place for a great show! The promotional side of things has really kicked into high gear with features on Khaos coming in the Globe and Mail and on CBC radio. Opening night is next Thursday March 8th at 8pm followed by shows on Friday and Saturday night and  a matinee on Saturday.  All shows are to take place at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, BC. For showtimes and to book tickets, click on this link to go the Capitol Theatre Website.

The leads and chorus in this production are doing an incredible job. It is really a testament to their work ethic that the production feels so solid at this point.

Here are a few musical excerpts.

1) listen_iconDemeter’s Aria – as sung by Audrey Bissett

2) listen_iconCerberus’s Aria – as sung by Kevin Armstrong

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The Go-To Music People – Variety Magazine Article

A recent article in Variety Magazine features Canadian composers.





The go-to music people

Showbiz Update: Canada – The West: Music


“District 9” composer Shorter, a self-described “control freak,” is known for his versatile sound and strives to serve “whatever the story and director require in order to connect the audience with the film,” he says. According to “District 9” editor Julian Clarke, instead of limiting himself to traditional score elements, “(Shorter) often brings in unconventional or processed elements, which give his music a really rich modern quality.” Shorter has scored more than 300 episodes for TV, numerous commercials and indie films. He is wrapping “Contraband,” starring Mark Wahlberg, for Working Title/Universal.

Ainscough’s gift, says director Michael French, is “being able to translate pure emotion seamlessly into music and back again.” French last collaborated with Ainscough on “Heart of a Dragon.” Ainscough says such inspired compositions take a deliberate approach: “It is important to me to get the calculated brain out of the way, and let the inspired part take over.” He got his start in sound post, which gave him an understanding of how to create a multi-layered soundtrack. “Chris is an inspired composer first,” says French, “But his sense of beat allows him to edit pictures with a technique that anchors the post-production process in much the same way a great drummer anchors a great band.”

Macdonald’s work spans genres, from opera to music for horror films, and that versatility is the key to his success. Recently, he completed work on the Weinstein Co.’s psychological thriller “The Chaos Experiment.” It is not unusual to find Macdonald singing and improvising rhythms and themes while composing — when no one else is in the room, of course. Otherwise it is “potentially a disastrous career move,” he jokes. Director Andrew Currie, whose zombie film “Fido” was scored by Macdonald, admires the composer’s bold approach and particular versatility: “He can compose in any genre you can imagine.” Indeed, Macdonald is also a violinist, has conducted orchestras and even had a rock band. But best of all, says Currie, he’s a good listener, which is “rarer than you’d think.” Macdonald is busy working on an opera and three pics over the next six months.

“Ben is one of the most interesting composers I’ve worked with,” says director Kari Skogland, whose “Fifty Dead Men Walking” he scored. Throughout his prolific career, Mink has recorded for numerous artists including Feist, Barenaked Ladies, Anne Murray, Elton John and Roy Orbison. His work with k.d. lang earned him several Grammy nominations and he has also received a Juno Award for songwriter and producer of the year (1993), along with two LEO Awards for Sundance Channel’s “Terminal City,” and the Syfy miniseries, “Alice,” and a Gemini Award for the doc “Confessions of an Innocent Man.” “He has a wonderful sense of character, which for my work is critical because I like the score to add a layer to the storytelling rather than just reflecting the mood,” says Skogland.

Nerd Corps Entertainment series director Johnny Darrell frequently works with Carson and describes his music as catchy, finding himself unable to stop humming it. Carson has produced a diverse range of music for EA, CBC, Discovery Channel, E!, Warner Bros, MTV, Lionsgate, Nelvana, ABC Family and the Cartoon Network. Per Darrell, Carson brings a legitimate modern alternative edge to his work. The composer likes to develop distinct motifs for plot lines, characters and relationships in a way that allows them to “fit together like a puzzle into a cohesive and harmonious whole that is pushing all the right buttons and putting the focus where it needs to be,” says Darrell.

With a real knowledge of the indie world, Duprey keeps incredibly busy as director of music supervision at S.L. Feldman & Associates. The full-service entertainment company based in Vancouver offers music supervision and event production, in addition to talent-booking services for artists such as Elvis Costello, Diana Krall and Norah Jones. Duprey spent over a decade working in artist management and musicvideo production before tackling music supervision in 2003. Since then, she has amassed credits on such shows as Showtime’s “The L Word,” MTV’s “Peak Season” and the Lifetime miniseries “Seven Deadly Sins.” Current projects include the features “Foreverland,” “Three Days in Havana” and the Food Network’s “Eat Street.”






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Black Water

So….it’s been a while. A long while in fact since my last pontification on the subject of all things Khaotic. Reasons for this include a long awaited renovation to my studio, creating parts for the workshop, and the workshop itself. The workshop was a tremendous success owing in large part to the preparation and performances by our all-star cast. Workshop attendees Charles Barber from Vancouver City Opera and Alison Greene who has worked extensively with Victoria’s Pacific Opera offered just the right amount of critical feedback. Special thanks goes out to producer Marty Horswill for making the weekend go off without a hitch.

One section that was identified in the workshop as possibly needing to be repeated elsewhere in the work was the short aria for Persephone titled “Black Water”. In this aria a dancer from the upper world has perished due to Demeter’s rage and enters the underworld full of dread, crippled by sadness due to the loss of loved ones left behind. Persephone’s new role in the underworld is such that she must relieve the suffering of all who enter the kingdom of the underworld by removing their memories. This she does by singing the “Black Water” incantation that deals with crossing the river Styx, the ancient mythical river that separates the underworld from the world of the living.


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UBC Singers Perform Tabula Rasa

My choral composition Tabula Rasa was performed by The UBC Singers. Great Performance!


The work is to be performed by the Vancouver based Phoenix Chamber Choir on April 30. Here’s a link to their website. (