Aunt Helen

“Aunt Helen” is a one-act opera for soprano, with music and lyrics written by Monica Pearce inspired by Dr. Helen Creighton.  Dr. Helen Creighton was truly a pioneer in collecting folk songs, and her contribution to the documentation of Maritime folk songs is unparalleled. She lived a life of adventure, from helping survivors from the Halifax Explosion, to driving an ambulance to help with health education, to collecting innumerable folk songs, and many more untold. 

Based on her autobiography A Life in Folklore, the libretto was written as a one-sided radio interview that might have occurred in her seventies. The unseen interviewer asks three questions: 1) How did you come to be a folk song collector? 2) What are some of your favourite stories from your travels? and 3) What are some of the obstacles you encountered? Through answering these questions, “Aunt Helen” gives us a glimpse into her life and into her personality. Amidst her interview, several folk songs are heard, partly to give further meaning to her answers, and partly to colour her experience with the most intrinsic material of her life.

Album Booklet
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Release Date

May 28, 2021

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