Essential Opera has announced a new collaboration with composer Monica Pearce.

“December” will be a poignantly funny one-act opera for women’s voices. The plot focuses on a couple facing a relationship crossroads, culminating with an unexpected proposal in a most unromantic location: the airport security line.

Here’s how you can be involved:

Donations are appreciated via PayPal, e-transfer, and cheque:


E-transfer: Email us at  essentialopera @ gmail dot com

Cheque: Email us at  essentialopera @ gmail dot com for a mailing address to send a cheque


In the fall, we launched a fundraising campaign to help us execute this project. We applied to SOCAN for a commissioning matching grant, meaning that the first $2000 we raise will get matched by SOCAN. And then that money goes to our composer – yay! After $2000, all the money raised will go toward the production itself.

In December we got word that our SOCAN matching grant was accepted!!!!! So your support goes even further!!!


Meet the composer here:


A history on our collaborations:

Monica Pearce is an Essential Opera favourite.

We commissioned and premiered a one-act opera from her in 2013-14 as part of a triple-bill of new Canadian works. “Etiquette” examined relationships between women as well, focusing on societal and business status differences (the characters were Dorothy Parker, Emily Post, and Nancy Astor). The music was sparkling and incisive for Dorothy Parker’s acerbic New Yorker review of Emily Post’s book, evoking the sound of her typewriter and punctuating her witticisms. Music for Emily Post and Nancy Astor was equally character-defining; Mrs. Astor singing abrupt, angular, declamatory lines while Mrs. Post yearned for a world of romance and beauty with flights of lyricism. The characters found themselves at odds, yet able to sing in harmonious ensemble when necessary. 

Here’s an excerpt from Etiquette (Sc. 1):


More background…

This is FAR from the first time an EO founder has worked with talented composer & librettist Monica Pearce. Maureen and Monica have been collaborating since 2010 (the year we started EO!). They’ve teamed up along with the Toy Piano Composers, Maureen’s own recital series Crossing Borders, Opera from Scratch, and more. At Opera from Scratch, Monica wrote “Aunt Helen”, a character study of folksong pioneer Dr. Helen Creighton. Maureen has performed and toured this work many times–the highlight being a mainstage production with Opera Nova Scotia (2015). Other works the two have explored together include Cake, Opening Number, Kandinsky, and The Bliss of Fatigue.