KHAOS edges closer to reality

Cast of much anticipated commissioned opera gets copy of completed scores in preparation for March premiere.

The Amy Ferguson Institute has received the completed scores for its newly commissioned opera, KHAOS, from the printers and is distributing them to the cast members to prepare for next year’s world premiere production.

“The directors of the Amy Ferguson Institute are excited beyond words that the commissioning of the new work has been realized and that our production company, Nelson Community Opera, can now begin work on bringing this new opera to life on the stage of the Capitol Theatre next March,“ said AFI director and KHAOS production co-ordinator, Marty Horswill.  “Composer Don Macdonald and librettist Nicola Harwood worked throughout the summer to make their final changes to the first draft of KHAOS. “

“We had workshopped the earlier draft in late June with the collaboration of City Opera Vancouver artistic director Charles Barber and Pacific Opera Victoria stage director Alison Greene as well as dramatic advice from UrbanInk dramaturge Diane Roberts,” Horswill said. “Using the workshop input, Macdonald and Harwood have tightened the structure, sharpened the dramatic impact and refined some elements of the music of their first draft. We are thrilled with the result and believe our audiences for the premiere will be equally impressed. Mr. Macdonald and Ms. Harwood have not only done Nelson proud but have, we believe, created an exciting new work worthy of recognition by the wider operatic world.”

“Publishing the score brings to fruition over two years of work writing and revising the libretto for KHAOS,” said Harwood. “This has been a very satisfying and exciting collaboration for me to work with a composer as talented as Don and with the unwavering support of Marty and the Amy Ferguson Institute. I look forward to inviting the singers and musicians back into the room and getting started rehearsing.”

The recently selected chorus members for KHAOS will have three weeks to study the newly published score before beginning choral rehearsals.

Soloists Audrey Bissett, Allison Girvan, Roger Ley, Kevin Armstrong, Kathleen Neudorf, Bessie Wapp and Christoph Martens have already learned most of the score for the June workshop performances. They will now need to memorize the final version in time for full-cast staging rehearsals that start early in 2012. Local dancer Hiromoto Ida, will be the production’s solo dancer.

“We hope to have a 10 or 12 piece live orchestra of some of the area’s finest instrumentalists supported by the composer’s digitally-generated, complete orchestral score to bring the full power, excitement and richness of Mr. Macdonald’s orchestration to the premiere production’s audiences,” said Horswill

Macdonald will be the musical director for the premiere production and Harwood will be the stage director. Nelson architect and dancer Thomas Loh and lighting designer Sharon Huizinga will design the production and have already begun work on the look of the production’s sets and costumes.

“We have a tremendous team and it’s going to be very exciting to see how the work evolves over the rehearsal process,” Macdonald observed.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help sew costumes or build sets should contact Horswill at 250-352-2595 to learn more.

After the Nelson world premiere run at the Capitol Theatre on March 8 to 10, the Institute will be taking Nelson Community Opera’s production of KHAOS on the road to Cranbrook, Trail, Grand Forks and Creston.

Tickets for the Nelson performances go on sale at the Capitol Theatre box office in December.

People interested in learning more about KHAOS, including hearing excerpts from the new opera, should visit the Institute’s website at