Persephone (left

Persephone (left

Smash hit Nelson opera, Khaos, coming to Creston

Web Lead

The operatic smash hit, Khaos, that premiered to sold out houses and rave reviews last month in Nelson is coming to Creston. Nelson Community Opera is bringing its world premiere production of Khaos to the Prince Charles Theatre for one matinee performance on May 13.

Close to 2,000 people saw the initial run of this newly commissioned opera at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre in early March. By all accounts, everyone who attended these performances, including those who had never seen an opera before, were bowled over by the power of the work itself, the quality of the performances and the extremely high level of theatrical presentation achieved by this production.

Interviewed on CBC Radio, Opera Canada magazine reviewer Hilary Clark described Nelson Community Opera’s production as “spectacular, brilliantly done, and the music was extremely exciting.” reviewer Bill Metcalf said, “I was gripped from the first moment by formidable singers, a poetic script, compelling music, a beautiful set, stunning lighting and an ancient/modern story that just kept on driving relentlessly forward.”

In a Globe and Mail article following the Nelson run, City Opera Vancouver artistic director Dr. Charles Barber said, “People who attend this show will be astonished at the production values and the vocal values.”

Readers interested in learning more about this new opera should log on to the Khaos website at, where they can also listen to excerpts from the work and view a selection of photos of the Nelson production.

Composer Don Macdonald and director/playwright Nicola Harwood were commissioned to write Khaos in 2009 by Nelson’s Amy Ferguson Institute. Scored for seven soloists, chorus, orchestra and a solo dancer, Khaos is a re-imagining of the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, set in a contemporary world of climate change and looming global catastrophe. The work is performed entirely in English.

The Nelson Community Opera production features Macdonald as musical director and librettist Harwood as the stage director, and stars soprano Allison Girvan as Persephone, mezzo soprano Audrey Bissett as Demeter, tenor Roger Ley as Hades and baritone Kevin Armstrong as Cerberus.

The Creston performance is jointly presented by Nelson Community Opera and the Creston Concert Society.

Tickets for the 2:30 p.m. May 13 show are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors/students, available at Black Bear Books.