Modern American suburbia is not all it’s cracked up to be in Cauliflower Garden, a one-act improvised opera, the third instalment in the Live at Claude Hall series.
This is the companion book to the covers album from 2017, marking the completion of the covers project. This year-long musical/writing process has been an attempt to connect with the work and spirit of artists who have influenced me in my 33 years, to absorb their essence and strengthen my own artistic voice moving forward.
Special thanks to Nathan at McNally Robinson Self-Publishing for his excellent consultation and cover design.
From the Preface to “Letters to Eleven Artists, Dead and Living” by Stephen Haiko-Pena
The eleven letters that make up this book were indeed sent to their respective recipients, or closest living relative in the case of those deceased. They are primarily stand-alone pieces but do have a general thematic flow, culminating in the letter to Dylan.
As an appendix to this work I’ve included a collection of poems, written in one ecstatic night during my first year of university: Les Champignons Mystérieuses. I acknowledge the input of my then-roommate Cosmus and our Turkish friend Ali.
Click on the name of an artist to listen to my cover on YouTube. My sister, Sarah Haiko, is featured on most tracks:
To register for a spot please contact me by email with preferred time. Registration open exclusively to returning students until June 15th. Schedule is updated regularly.
Thank you to Seine Singers and co. for taking on this new music with enthusiasm and commitment. I hope to have this performed again, possibly in Winnipeg with a much larger group. I am accepting offers from the universe!
Please email me if you’d like a PDF of the score sent free of charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past two years the idea to write a one-act opera on the perils of hyper-consumerism was kicking around in my head. The interestingly named Brandon Shoppers Mall provided the creative spur to move forward. I used a photo-shopped version of its main entrance for my reimagining as International Shopper’s Palace. The short, 15-min opera is scored for piano, bass-baritone, contralto and chorus, and contains all the heroic proclamations, tragedy and suicide you would expect from a full-length romantic opera!
Listen to the full 15-minute opera with subtitles here.
Download the opera with libretto here.
The live album of Stephen’s performance at Claude Hall, Nov 5, 2017. An exploration of the wide-held belief (at one time) that Winnipeg’s Arlington Street Bridge was originally built to span the Nile.
Follow a herd of hard-working camels on their treacherous journey from Egypt to Winnipeg! Feel the passion behind Councilman McArthur’s speech at the opening of the bridge in 1912!