Instrumentation: Soprano (voice), Ten, Baritone (voice), Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Cello, Double Bass
Duration: 15:00
Commissioned by Tapestry New Opera
Premiered in Toronto by Tapestry New Opera in 2006
Video and recording available by request

Program Notes

I wrote this chamber opera for three singers and six instrumentalists in conjunction with Colleen Murphy for Tapestry’s Opera To Go series. There is also an alternate orchestration for two singers and three instrumentalists, prepared for Bicycle Opera’s summer 2013 tour. This work served as the genesis for the full-length Oksana story, although in the process of developing the narrative more fully, this scene disappeared. So this chamber opera serves as an “alternate take” to The Enslavement and Liberation of Oksana G.—a sort of “what if” scenario, looking at the characters through a different light.


A young Eastern European woman (Oksana) has found herself in the safehouse of an Italian priest (Alessandro). She has escaped from a pimp (Konstantin), who tricked her into prostitution, and now finds that she is falling in love with Alessandro. He in turn, despite his priestly calling, finds himself tempted by Oksana. During this scene, they dance around the complications of their situation, each one afraid to reveal him- or her-self to the other. Then another problem presents itself.