Essential Opera and Leaf Music Present


(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Composer Monica Pearce’s one-act opera Etiquette is being released by Leaf Music and Essential Opera.

Etiquette: A Glimpse of 1920s Icons presents a unique musical portrayal of three influential women from the 1920s: author, critic, and satirist Dorothy Parker (known for her wit and wisecracks), author and socialite Emily Post, and American-born British politician Nancy Astor. Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and At Home (the book by Emily Post) was published in 1922, noting the importance of etiquette in all aspects of life: “Consideration for the rights and feelings of others is not merely a rule for behavior in public but the very foundation upon which social life is built.” When reviewing the work, however, Parker observed that, “Those who have mastered etiquette seem to arrive at exquisite dullness.”

Commissioned by Essential Opera, this world-premiere recording was made possible with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia. The album was recorded at St. Andrew’s United Church in Halifax. A stylish short film is also being released in the coming months.

Etiquette showcases traditional themes in a new light, in line with the age-old tradition of revisiting the past to illuminate the present.


Album credits

Maureen Batt, soprano  – Dorothy Parker
Erin Bardua, sopranoEmily Post
Lucy Hayes Davis, mezzo-sopranoNancy Astor
Tara Scott – music director, piano
Brad Reid – clarinet
Monica Pearce – composer
John Terauds – librettist
Jeremy VanSlyke  – recording producer
Ben B. Creelman  – recording engineer
Ben B. Creelman, Haruka Nagata  –  editing and mixing
Nathan Cann  – mastering