David James Brock

Theatre, Opera, Poetry, Film

David James Brock is a Canadian writer of opera, theatre, poetry, and film.
Author of poetry collections Everyone is CO2 and Ten-Headed Alien.
Co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera for cystic fibrosis.

Filtering by Category: New Music

Pandora, a New Opera Ballet

On May 23, my full length opera, Pandora, will premiere at Toronto’s Geary Lane. This opera-ballet choreographed and performed by Jennifer Nichols (and oh! Opera-ballet is really just opera with a lot of ballet in it!) is part of an experimental collaboration devised by FAWN’s Founder and Artistic Director Amanda Smith, with composers David Storen (Vancouver, BC), Joseph Glaser (Montreal, QC) and Kit Soden (Montreal, QC). The story centres around the development of a character, played by tenor Jonathan MacArthur, who stumbles upon an object and quickly gets drawn into what, and who, is inside.


This was an entirely new experience for me, knowing who I was working with before I knew what I’d be writing (and writing for three different composers). FAWN was exploring a devised creation model, and I felt a responsibility to ensure the libretti honoured the work and relationships that came out of a week long workshop process where we uncovered shared themes, stories, voices, movements, and sounds. I then went away to try and channel that exploration into the stories that have resulted in this full length opera.

The writing process can often feel solitary, but in crafting these stories with the composers, I think we all felt the energy and voices of that first week at every turn. I can now hear it radiating in the music as we begin rehearsals.

Recently, I had the chance to speak a bit about the libretti creation process that I’ve undertaken with Pandora.

For more details about Pandora, which opens May 23-25, here are the event details.

Opera gets Fucked Up (Tap: Ex Metallurgy)

I'm currently working on Tap:Ex Metallurgy, a cool project from Tapestry New Opera, the incredible composer Ivan Barbotin, and members from the Canadian band Fucked Up. I'm looking forward to this one. I'm the project's librettist (word), and the process of collaborative idea generation and writing has been unlike any project I've worked on thus far. I think it's gonna be a good one.

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Recording Sewing the Earthworm

Sewing the Earthworm, a song cycle for soprano and piano, was first performed in the fall of 2011 as part of the inaugural season of the Canadian Art Song Project. This past week, we got the original creative team together for a proper recording at University of Toronto's Walter Hall, and I am excited to finally have this as a supplement to the text, which was written specifically to be set to music (and which appears on pages 17-21 of my poetry collection, Everyone is CO2. Ah hem).

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