Lloyd Burritt Celebration

Friday, September 29, 2017 • 7:00pm

Download Program (PDF)

Lloyd BurrittI truly believe the human voice is the finest instrument for making music.

Tonight, you will hear four song cycles based on texts by Canadian poets Marilyn Lerch from New Brunswick and Robin Blaser from Vancouver. I was fortunate to be included in Robin’s circle of friends in Vancouver for 43 years. His poetry deeply moves me, as do the poems by Marilyn.

Following intermission, you will hear excerpts from my second opera Miracle Flight 571. The libretto is based on the book Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado. Nando was one of sixteen survivors from the rugby team that crashed in the Andes in 1972. While first reading Nando’s book, I heard some of the music that you will hear tonight. Nando’s story is riveting. Man versus Nature is something I intensely identify with. During the 1940s, my parents built a cabin on Mount Seymour. Every single weekend, I lived on the mountain, playing in streams, hiking to Mystery Lake, and eventually to the peaks in summer and skiing in winter. In my adult years, I’ve back-packed the Stein Valley, the Monashees, the Chilcotins, Rainbow Range, Spatsizi Plateau, and the Rockies.

Nando’s experiences on the glacier parallel some of my own. For example, my mother was buried in an avalanche when I was two years old, and like Nando, she survived. A family event like this stays with you for life, and obviously made a deep lasting impression on me.

My earlier compositions included many different genres, but the vocal writing you will hear tonight performed by our ‘dream team’ rings true for me. Thank you CMC.

— Lloyd Burritt


Moon Loves Its Light
I. • II. • III. • Giant Lily of the Amazon
poems by Marilyn Lerch
Robyn Driedger-Klassen, soprano; Terence Dawson, piano

Winter Words in a Dark Love Song
I. Winter Words • II. In A Dark • III. Love • IV. Song
poems by Robin Blaser
Leah Giselle Field, mezzo-soprano; Geronimo Mendoza, English horn; Terence Dawson, piano

Song 1 Image-Nation 3 (substance
Song 2 Image-Nation 4 (old gold
Song 3 Image-Nation 2 (roaming
poems by Robin Blaser
Carman J. Price, tenor; Andrew Clark, horn; Terence Dawson, piano

Moth Poem
I. The Literalist • II. Between • III. Awake • IV. Atlantis • V. Paradise Quotations
poems by Robin Blaser
Steven Bélanger, baritone; Terence Dawson, piano

The Finding
poem by Meharoona Ghani • music by Roydon Tse
Robyn Driedger-Klassen, soprano; Terence Dawson, piano

Miracle Flight 571
Opera Excerpts: Arias & Ensembles • Music and Libretto by Lloyd Burritt
Based on the book Miracle in the Andes by Nando Parrado with Vince Rause

Act One • Act Two

Robyn Driedger-Klassen, soprano; Leah Giselle Field, mezzo-soprano; Carman J. Price, tenor; Steven Bélanger, baritone; Geronimo Mendoza, English horn; Andrew Clark, horn; Terence Dawson, piano; Patricia Myers, libretto editor; Wendy Chen, sound effects; David McLaughlin & Stefan Hintersteininger, visual effects


Lloyd Burritt Composer 

Lloyd Burritt was born in Vancouver and has resided most of his life in the region. He received his M.Mus from the University of British Columbia while studying with Jean Coulthard and Cortland Hultberg. On fellowship with the Royal College of Music (London) he studied with Gordon Jacob and Herbert Howells and on a Fromm Fellowship at the Berkshire Music Center (Tanglewood, USA) with Lorna Cooke DeVaron, Iva Dee Hiatt, Leonard Bernstein and Erich Leinsdorf.

Lloyd has composed in a wide variety of musical idioms, producing electronic music and numerous choral works as well as major orchestral works and opera. He is currently writing his second opera while premiering songs and cycles based on poetry by Canada’s Dorothy Livesay, Robin Blaser and Marilyn Lerch. A comprehensive list of all Lloyd’s works can be found on his website (lloydburritt.com) and at the Canadian Music Centre.

Steven Bélanger Baritone 

An accomplished clarinetist as well as a singer, baritone Steven Bélanger is a graduate of Queen’s University (BMus, BA) and McGill University (MMus). He has performed with ensembles of all sizes and genres across Canada including the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM), Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, Opéra de Montréal, VivaVoce, the Canadian Chamber Choir and Arion Baroque Orchestra. He has also appeared as soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), the McGill Baroque Orchestra, Voix Libres, Le Choeur du Vieux-Montreal, Les Grands Ballets canadiens de Montréal, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, the Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra, the Quinte Symphony and the Grand River Chorus. Locally, Steven sings regularly with Early Music Vancouver and the Vancouver Chamber Choir and has appeared as soloist with the Vancouver Cantata Singers, Erato Ensemble and Laudate Singers. Recent solo engagements include performances with Opera After Hours, the Victoria Baroque Players, the Early Music Society of the Islands, the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and SummerChor.

Andrew Clark Horn 

Andrew Clark has been blowing down pieces of metal tube ever since he first emptied his grandmother’s kitchen cupboard and found a funnel before the age of two. A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with horn professors Halstead, Chidell and Bryant, he performed with many orchestras and ensembles using both period instruments and their modern counterparts. Highlights of his career include many years of playing principal horn in London Classical Players (Norrington); Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Academy of Ancient Music (Hogwood); English Concert (Pinnock); and Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Koopman) with whom he recorded Bach’s Cantatas. As a soloist he has made several commercial recordings: concertos by Vivaldi, Fasch and Crusell; works for horn and piano by Beethoven and Czerny; the Brahms Horn Trio, Mozart’s Horn Quintet, Beethoven’s Sextet and the Sonata da Caccia by Thomas Ades. He was also a horn teacher at London’s Royal Academy of Music for seventeen years and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for ten years. He has performed in forty countries, but is now attempting to tour less often to reduce his carbon foot-print. In 2010 Andrew moved from England with his wife, bassoonist Katrina Russell, to Vancouver Island. He has set up a horn making workshop there, building customized instruments for himself and for colleagues around the world. Since 2011 he has played principal horn with the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra.

Terence Dawson Piano 

British-born, Canadian pianist Terence Dawson has firmly established himself as one of British Columbia’s most respected musicians. His reputation as a solo pianist, chamber musician, orchestral pianist, dedicated teacher and engaging lecturer has resulted in repeat engagements from coast to coast across Canada, as well as in the USA, England and Asia. His many performances have garnered critical acclaim: “lucid” (Globe and Mail), “stunning”​ (Vancouver Sun), and possessing “trademark elegance and technical flair” (Georgia Straight). He has appeared as concerto soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Curio Ensemble, and has collaborated with and is the pianist of choice for numerous artists and ensembles for many series, including the Ottawa Chamber Music Society, Vetta Chamber Music, Music in the Morning, The Coast Recital Society, Music on Main, The VSO Chamber Players, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, Phoenix Chamber Choir, Ballet British Columbia, and as a touring duo with both the Reside/Dawson Duo and soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen. Dawson served as principal pianist for the CBC Curio Ensemble, Artistic Director and pianist of Vancouver’s celebrated Masterpiece Chamber Music Series, and is well known to CBC Radio audiences. He was a featured musician for a CBC television historical documentary, playing solo works of Brahms and Liszt. His recordings include nine discs as a chamber musician. Dr. Dawson has been a clinician for national organizations and educational institutions such as the Canadian Federation of Music Teacher’s National Conference, Conservatory Canada’s National Piano Master Classes, The Musashino Akademia Musicae (Tokyo), and many universities and schools of music. He taught for almost 20 years at Alberta’s Strings and Keys, a summer school for young musicians and is a founding Faculty member of the innovative Vancouver International Song Institute (VISI). He is a member of the faculty in residence at the annual Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Summer Institute at Whistler. Dr. Dawson has served as a jury member for many local and national competitions including the Canadian Music Competition, The Canada Council and The Vancouver Foundation. After early studies with Janet Hammock, Jamie Syer and Lynn Johnson in Eastern Canada, his graduate studies were with Jane Coop. Since 1991, he has taught piano and chamber music at the University of British Columbia, and in 2011 was appointed Chair of the Keyboard Division, succeeding his principal teacher.

Robyn Driedger-Klassen Soprano 

At the age of sixteen, Robyn Driedger-Klassen discovered that singing came more naturally than her attempts on the piano at Bach Preludes and Fugues. She won a few competitions in those early days and after a few years of dilly-dallying in other university programs, she decided that music was the only career for her so, she undertook the voice performance program at UBC with vigour. Robyn has done lots of performing in lots of places. She loves the costumes and grandeur of opera and adores the personal and intimate side of recitals. Several years ago, Robyn was hired by the Turning Point Ensemble to do a work for voice and ensemble by R Murray Schafer entitled Arcana. Faced with singing Egyptian hieroglyphs, Robyn found herself first at a complete loss, but soon fully enjoyed unravelling the mysteries found on the page. Schafer witnessed her successful performance and since then, Robyn has thrown herself whole-heartedly into performance of contemporary vocal repertoire. Some of her favourites have been: a fully-staged performance of Libby Larsen’s Try Me Good King, the final words and letters of the wives of Henry VIII; Kaaija Saariaho’s Lonh, for soprano and electronics that make lovely bird sounds; Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus, a woman’s inner monologue as she waits for a blind date; Brian Current’s Inventory, a complicated piece about a woman’s relationship with shoes; David McIntyre’s On the Road to Moose Jaw, a soaring song about a prairie drive; Leslie Uyeda’s White Cat Blues, a set of songs written for her with poems by Lorna Crozier; and Perruqueries, a commissioned set of songs about wigs from the weird and wonderful minds of Jocelyn Morlock and Bill Richardson. This is an exciting time to be working with North American composers and Robyn is thrilled to make their songs come alive. However, she will always make time to sing Mozart, Schubert or Richard Strauss! Robyn is on the core faculty of the Vancouver International Song Institute, and is also pleasantly surprised to find herself Head of Voice at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Robyn loves books, geraniums, hikes, canoes, cups of tea and a clean house. Robyn lives with her husband and two vocal critics under the age of five. She can bake a wicked loaf of bread and in recent times, has learned a considerable amount about monster trucks, fast cars and dinosaurs.

Leah Giselle Field Mezzo-Soprano 

Mezzo-soprano Leah Giselle Field is a graduate of Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program. She is a district winner and regional finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a finalist for the Jeunesse Musicales Maureen Forrester Award Tour, and a semifinalist in the Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition. She is a graduate of the DMA program in Voice and Opera at the University of British Columbia, and holds a MMus in Literature and Performance-Voice from the University of Western Ontario and a BMus in Opera from UBC. Recent performances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Le Nozze di Figaro and Hansel and Gretel with Vancouver Opera, and productions of Luisa Miller, Suor Angelica, and Aida. Upcoming performances include Verdi’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Herodias in Salome, and Fillipyevna in Eugene Onegin. An active performer, Leah has sung in North America, Europe, and China. She has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, the Sea to Sky Symphony, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, the West Coast Symphony, and the UBC Symphony Orchestra, and as a recitalist throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

Geronimo Mendoza Oboe 

Oboist Geronimo Mendoza is currently a member of the Vancouver Island and Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestras, and is frequently seen onstage with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony, the Vancouver New Music ensemble, as well as other professional music ensembles in the Lower Mainland. As a former member of the Mexico City Philharmonic, he has worked with renown artists and conductors, and has been on tours in Europe and Asia. He has attended international music festivals, working with world-celebrated artists John Mack, Ray Still, Alex Klein, Louis Pellerin, Isaac Durate, Ingo Goritzki, Christoph Lindemann, Charles “Chip” Hamann, Emanuel Abbuhl and the London Winds. As an educator, he has accumulated over a decade of experience, and has held positions as oboe teacher at the Escuela de Iniciacion a la Musica y la Danza (Mexico City), and Assistant Professor of Oboe at the Escuela de Musica Vida y Movimiento (Mexico City). He is an award recipient of the BC Arts Council, and a three-time grant recipient of the Mexico Arts Council, as a professional solo-artist and chamber musician.

Carman J. Price Tenor 

Carman J. Price has a warm tenor sound and stylistic adaptability that have made him one of Vancouver’s most sought-after singers. An alumnus of the Capilano University jazz program, he had led his own group with some of Vancouver’s premier jazz musicians, appearing at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Frankie’s Jazz Club. He also performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Morris Russell paying tribute to Frank Sinatra. Carman recently released his first album of jazz standards entitled I Do. Carman’s classical experience includes many years with the choral group musica intima. He appears on their albums o nata lux (2008) and the JUNO-nominated into light (2010). He is now a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir and was tenor soloist for their most recent performance of Mozart’s Requiem at the Orpheum.

Roydon Tse Featured Emerging Composer 

Acclaimed by the Vancouver Sun as a composer “glittering with professionalism”, Hong Kong-Canadian composer Roydon Tse (b.1991) is passionate about communicating to audiences from all backgrounds with his music. He received his first professional commission from the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra when he was 16 under the ESO Young Composers’ Project, and he has since embarked on an exciting journey in the world of music composition.

Born in Hong Kong, Roydon is currently a 3rd year D.M.A student in composition at the University of Toronto, and holds degrees from the University of British Columbia (B.Mus) and the University of Toronto (M.Mus). Before immigrating to Canada in 2007, he spent five years in Eastbourne (U.K.) where he studied piano and violin. Key to his formation as a composer were studies with Dorothy Chang, Christos Hatzis, Gary Kulesha, Stephen Chatman, John Estacio, and Norbert Palej. Roydon was nominated for the presigious Rhodes Scholarship by UBC in 2013, and in 2017, was named one of “30 under 30 Hot Canadian classical Musicians” by the CBC.