Loose Tea Music Theatre & Highlands Opera Studio Unveil Composer-Librettist Development Program

By David Salazar

The Loose Tea Music Theatre and Highlands Opera Studio are teaming up to create the LTMT BIPOC Composer-Librettist Development Program.

The intention of the program is for the two companies to showcase two productions for in-person performances; per an official press release, there will be 16 public performances/events in Haliburton County, including concerts, masterclasses, opera performances, and community outreach events.

Among the works set to be workshopped as part of the program are “Inertia” and “The Museum of the Lost and Found.”

Ashley Au and Christene Browne’s “Inertia” focuses on elderly isolation, perceptions of death, and stagnation, among other themes. In the work, two elderly neighbors/strangers who become friends when Death spares them.

Meanwhile, Olivia Shortt’s “The Museum of the Lost and Found” presents a metaphor for missing persons cases and how society treats them.

Additionally, Troy Defour and JT Rivera are also developing their own works.

“Since HOS was established, emphasis has been placed on embracing difference, acknowledging diversity of all kinds and making every effort to provide opportunities to remedy the negative impacts, structural barriers, and power dynamics that can be present in the world of opera,” said Highland Opera Studio’s Co-Artistic and General Director Valerie Kuinka in the press statement. “We endeavor to represent and support diverse cultural and social perspectives and preferences throughout the organization and in all our activities, including the commissioning and presentation of new Canadian works telling the stories of today. Welcoming LTMT to the HOS 2022 Professional Program community and performance season will continue our established commitment at HOS to tackling the very real issues around systemic racism in opera, supporting all marginalized groups of society, and focusing on increasing awareness and implementing positive change.”