Canadian Opera Company Announces New Opera Commission

By Francisco Salazar

The Canadian Opera Company has announced that Montreal-based composer Ana Sokolović and seasoned British librettist Paul Bentley will present a new opera “The Old Fools,” commissioned by the company.

The opera, which is set to premiere in 2021, will be a two-act work inspired by “The Old Fools,” a work by renowned English poet Philip Larkin; its themes revolve around Larkin’s fear of aging and death.

“I have created the central role in the opera for an old man, negotiating the end of his life. He can’t live at home anymore because he is no longer physically independent,” Sokolović said in a statement. “The subject matter is universal and poignant, as we’re seeing a growing phenomenon of more and more old people spending their last days outside of their homes. In spite of his frail physical appearance, the old man escapes his surroundings by climbing into the lighted rooms in his head. In these rooms, he recollects intense emotional moments of his life when he experienced overwhelming joy, friendship, and love.”

COC General Director  Alexander Neef added, “One of the things I enjoy most about Ana’s work is that they are stories that tap into a shared human experience while simultaneously challenging our perceptions of what that is.”

“The Old Fools” is set to reunite Sokolović with librettist Paul Bentley, with whom she worked with for “The Midnight Court.” ‘The Old Fools will be sung in English and French, with more information set to be released at a later point.