KHAOS: Smash hit opera playing in Grand Forks

By Contributor
May 3rd, 2012

The operatic smash hit, KHAOS, that premiered to sold out houses and rave reviews last month in Nelson is coming to Grand Forks.  Nelson Community Opera is bringing its world premiere production of KHAOS to the Grand Forks Secondary School Theatre for one performance only on the evening of Friday, May 11.

Close to 2000 people saw the initial run of this newly commissioned opera at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre in early March.  By all accounts everyone who attended these performances, including those who had never seen an opera before, were bowled over by the power of the work itself, the quality of the cast’s performances and the extremely high level of theatrical presentation achieved by this production.

Interviewed on CBC radio, Opera Canada magazine reviewer, Hilary Clark, described Nelson Community Opera’s production as “spectacular, brilliantly done, and the music was extremely exciting.”  Nelson Daily reviewer, Bill Metcalf, said “I was gripped from the first moment by formidable singers, a poetic script, compelling music, a beautiful set, stunning lighting, and an ancient/modern story that just kept on driving relentlessly forward.” In a Globe and Mail article following the Nelson run, City Opera Vancouver artistic director, Dr. Charles Barber, said “ people who attend this show will be astonished at the production values and the vocal values.” 

Readers interested in learning more about this new opera should log on to the KHAOS website at www.khaosopera.com where they can also listen to excerpts from the work and view a selection of photos of the Nelson production.

Local composer, Don Macdonald, and local director/playwright, Nicola Harwood, were commissioned to write KHAOS in 2009 by Nelson’s Amy Ferguson Institute. Scored for seven soloists, chorus, orchestra and a solo dancer, KHAOS is a re-imagining of the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone set in a contemporary world of climate change and looming global catastrophe.  The work is performed entirely in English.

The Nelson Community Opera production features the opera’s composer, Don Macdonald, as musical director and its librettist, Nicola Harwood as the stage director and stars soprano, Allison Girvan as Persephone, mezzo soprano, Audrey Bissett as Demeter, tenor, Roger Ley as Hades and baritone, Kevin Armstrong as Cerberus.

The Grand Forks performance is being presented jointly by Nelson Community Opera and the Boundary Arts Council.

Tickets are on sale in Grand Forks at Thistle Pot Gifts (Tel:  250-442-1214), The Gallery 2 Gift Shop (Tel: 250-442-2211) and in Christina Lake at the Living Arts Centre (Tel: 250-447-6161).  Adults: $25; Seniors/students: $15.  Show time: 8:00 pm, Friday May 11, 2012.