Khaos is a re-imagining of the ancient fertility myth of Demeter and Persephone. It was selected by Opera America to be showcased as part of its New Work Sampler in 2013 and received rave reviews.

Minimum Qty: 20



Khaos is a re-imagining of the ancient fertility myth of Demeter and Persephone. It was selected by Opera America to be showcased as part of its New Work Sampler in 2013 and received rave reviews.

“Macdonald’s atonal music shimmered, shocked and satisfied the audience, inspired by Harwood’s effective text.” Hillary Clark/Opera Canada – Summer 2012 Issue




Orchestra Size – fl, oboe, clar, bsn, tp, fhn, tbn, pno, timp, perc, strings


Leads – 7

Chorus – 6 minimum (4 if Helios and Hekate double as chorus)

Total – 13 plus dancer (11 if Helios and Hekate double as chorus)


Act 1, ca, 70 min

Act 2, ca, 50 min

The Team

Composer – Don Macdonald has a varied musical background that includes experience as a performer, conductor, educator, and composer. Throughout his musical life composition has been Don’s main focus and his credits include commissioned classical works, arrangements and compositions for CD recordings and scores for award winning film and television. Commissioned works have been performed and recorded in Canada and abroad for ensembles including choir, orchestra and concert band. In 2010 he was awarded 1st prize in the Da Capo national choral music competition for his work Tabula Rasa. His vocal background includes being a founding member of Musica Intima and Chor Leone two of Canada’s premiere vocal ensembles, freelance work with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and solo work with a variety of ensembles including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His conducting experience includes positions as Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Bach Choir, Musical Director of the Simon Fraser University Choir and studio conductor for film and T.V. sessions. He has received two Genie nominations and 5 Leo nominations for his work in Canadian film and his orchestral score for “Fido” won the prize for best soundtrack at the Gerardmer Film Festival in France. He is currently instructing at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology Program in Nelson, BC where he heads the composition department.


Nicola Harwood is a playwright, librettist and director. Her passions include creator-driven works, new media and community-based arts practice. Recent theatre /writing projects include the Squaw Hall Project with urban ink productions of Vancouver; a commission from the Amy Ferguson Institute for the libretto of the opera KHAOS and Salmon Row, a site-specific work commissioned by Mortal Coil Performance Society of Vancouver. She is currently working with an interdisciplinary team of artists to create High Muck-a-Muck: Playing Chinese, a digital application and live event. Before their collaboration on KHAOS, Ms. Harwood previously collaborated with Mr. Macdonald in creating, Loco Phantasmo, a provocative work of tragicomic musical theatre about artists and madness. Ms. Harwood’s work in opera includes directing the Amy Ferguson Institute’s 2009 production of Orfeo and Euridice as well as directing the world premiere production of KHAOS. She currently teaches Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and lives in Vancouver with her partner and their two children. For a more info please see:




Charles Barber, Artistic Director or City Opera Vancouver, in the Toronto Globe and Mail article; “Gives a standing ovation to the production” – ” People who attend this show will be astonished by the production values and vocal values”. Read the article here.

Audience Reaction

“I am not usually a fan of opera, I found it to be spectacular, moving, and so impressive & beautiful” – Genie Sittig – Facebook

“Amazing production and talent – a must see.” – Wendy Ramsay – Facebook

“I heard this on CBC 2 and was just floored. Absolutely gorgeous.” – Khaos website comments

“I have come away enriched. It would be a crime if it is not produced on a major stage — and soon too.” – Khaos website comments




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