David James Brock

playwright, poet, librettist

David James Brock is a Canadian playwright, poet and librettist. Author of poetry collection, Everyone is CO2. Librettist for Scottish pub opera, The Sloans Project. Co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera for cystic fibrosis.

Composer Gareth Williams and librettist David James Brock created a site-specific promenade opera inspired by Glasgow's oldest pub, Sloans. The audience moves through the 250-year-old pub and encounters a series of scenes telling stories of love, loss, revenge and forgiveness.

Commissioned by NOISE Opera with development support from Tapestry New Opera, The Sloans Project was recently remounted for the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Scottish Arts Club. The opera features piano, harp, violin, cello, accordion, toy piano and singing wine glasses.

See photos and learn more by visiting the NOISE Opera website.

It was more than just intimate, we the audience were part of the action along with the singers. It was my first experience of being an extra in an opera. Yes, we were a real part of the action. It was exhilarating to say the least.
— Alan Cooper, The Herald Scotland

Production History

  • 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • 2012 Sound Festival, Scotland's Festival of New Music (Aberdeen, Scotland)
  • remounted as Pub Operas for Tapestry New Opera's 2010-11 Season (Toronto, Canada)
  • premiered at the 2011 Merchant City Festival (Glasgow, UK)

Operatic Scenes

Mad With It

A young couple celebrates their recent engagement in Sloans, only to be interrupted by a drunk whose 24 year marriage has just ended. The drunk leaves his wedding ring, and sensing an opportunity, the young couple takes it.

Country Song

Two friends bring their recently deceased friend to the bar where they all used to hang out to give him a proper send off.

Chopin’s Ghost

A bar manager recounts the night she heard Frederick Chopin play piano and the effect it had on her relationship with the bar’s resident piano player.

The Sloans Project is a fantastic ghost story, bringing to life characters from a building which has seen more than its fair share of Glasgow drama through the years... The experience is electric... and full of stories which are highly charged with laughter and sadness.
— Kelvin Holdsworth, Opera Britannia

Charm

A man befriends the man who has murdered his daughter, but has eluded the police, plotting his revenge in the process.

Young Love

On the wedding day of the young couple from Mad With It, the now sober man arrives with a surprise: his wife. And they want their ring back.

Brock’s libretto was full of surprising imaginative twists. It drew you in with its reflections of real life experiences, tragic, comical and ultimately happily uplifting.
— Alan Cooper, The Herald Scotland

Press

  • 2012 Sound Festival, Scotland's Festival of New Music (Aberdeen, Scotland)
  • Pub Operas in Tapestry New Opera's 2010-11 Season (Toronto, Canada)
  • 2011 Merchant City Festival (Glasgow, Scotland)