I am the director and founder of The Art Song Collaborative Project, and each year I bring artists together in the creation and performance of a new international opera relating to issues of our modern world. Originally created as an opportunity to perform the music of active Canadian and International composers, the project has evolved into an exploration of drama through art songs.
This year our goal is to bring awareness to the dangerous state our planet is in: from the overflow of plastic pollution to governments and figures in power denying climate change. Through the Art Song Collaborative Project I invited 13 composers and 6 performers to work with me in the creation of "Cries of the Earth" an international opera.
The opera ensemble of 2 sopranos, tenor, violin, cello, piano, percussion and electronics, with appearance of guitar, will premiere a total of 14 new pieces, each unique in instrumentation, style and text, but tied together by one theme and one story. Three performances will take place in Toronto on July 26th, 27th at the Array Music Space and on July 28th in the Richmond Hill/ Markham Area.
My goal with this opera is not only to give composers and performers a chance to speak about the ever-growing environmental threat that assails our world; but also to urge our audience to reflect on the issue from different viewpoints, and contemplate possible solutions. As artists we must strive to use our art to portray problems in a new light and hope to inspire people towards positive change. "Cries of the Earth" is a creative and impassioned cry for help from Mother Nature through the artistic eyes of composers from Canada, Australia and United States, brought to life by North American performers.
Funded by Sarnia, ON (June 2019)