Music

Lighthouse

“Lighthouse” is for anyone who has experienced the loss of someone close. It is, above all else, a love story… The music was composed by Grej (Gregory Harrison) in collaboration with Maureen. The concept is a marriage between classical and electronic genres that utilizes voice, piano, harmonium, synthesizer, and field recordings.

Aunt Helen

“Aunt Helen” is a one-act opera for soprano, with music and lyrics written by Monica Pearce inspired by Dr. Helen Creighton.  Dr. Helen Creighton was truly a pioneer in collecting folk songs, and her contribution to the documentation of Maritime folk songs is unparalleled. She lived a life of adventure, from helping survivors from the Halifax Explosion, to driving an ambulance to help with health education, to collecting innumerable folk songs, and many more untold. Featuring Simon Docking on piano.

Mirror, Mirror

“Mirror, Mirror” is a mini-opera based on the Grimm fairy tale Snow White by Anna Pidgorna. This story uses the Snow White/Evil Stepmother template to look at how women and their relationships with one another are affected by external pressure to be forever young and beautiful. This is Essential Opera’s debut commercial release. This version is for two sopranos and electronics. 

Breathing in the Shadows

“Breathing in the Shadows” is the debut album from Iranian-Canadian composer, Saman Shahi. The album includes three song cycles, two of which are based on poetry by women from across the globe. “Breathing in the Shadows” core themes deal with prejudice, oppression, and inner dissatisfaction, resonating with many different communities that historically have lived through the experiences of these struggles. The music carries an important message of unity and hope. Featuring Tara Scott on piano.

Lady of the Lake

The debut album of soprano Maureen Batt features a rare recording of Schubert’s “Op. 52 Lady of the Lake” song cycle and a newly commissioned work on the same epic Walter Scott poem by Nova Scotia’s Fiona Ryan. Both cycles feature Jon-Paul Décosse, bass-baritone.  Batt and Décosse are joined by collaborative pianist Simon Docking.  Schubert’s Op. 52 cycle also includes performances from the Halifax Camerata Singers and a male vocal quartet: Justin Simard, Leander Mendoza, James Levesque, Rob O’Quinn.