Aunt Helen, a short opera, was performed on August 26, 2012 at St. Matthew’s Church in Halifax. The project was part of Dalhousie’s “Opera from Scratch” workshop.
Composer: Monica Pearce
Libretto: Monica Pearce, Helen Creighton
Singer: Maureen Batt
The opera is based on Helen Creighton’s autobiography A Life In Folklore. Monica Pearce “wrote the libretto as a one-side radio interview that might have occurred in her seventies. The unseen interviewer asks three questions: 1) How did you come to be a folksong collector? 2) What are some of your favorite stories from your travels? and 3) What are some of the obstacles you encountered? Through answering these questions, “Aunt Helen” gives us a glimpse into her life and her personality. Amidst her interview, several folksongs are heard, partly to give further meaning to her answers, and partly to colour her experience with the most intrinsic material of her life.”