'Seabird Island' Revisited, Op. 157
six fragments for viola and piano

Derek Healey
Derek Healey
Composition Date: 1976
Revision Date: 2018
Duration: 00:11:09
Genre: Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Viola


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Viola
Programme Note:
The opera Seabird Island was completed on Sept 8th 1976 and premiered at the Guelph Spring Festival in May 1977. The text was by Norman Newton and based on a Tsimshian tale set on the northern coast of British Columbia near the mouth of the Skeena river, in mythical times. There are six singing parts: the King and Queen, the Shaman, the Princess, the Prince and a Maid. The performances were conducted by Nicholas Goldschmidt.

Ever since Murdo MacKinnon suggested I arrange sections of the opera in a single movement orchestral piece, I had intended to make a single movement arranged from themes from the piece. Time has passed, and so I finally decided to buckle-down and to produce such a work. It was no easy task, since in the 42 years since writing the opera, I had obviously forgotten much of it, and so instead, I decided to arrange fragments from the work'for solo instrument and piano. I selected the viola mainly since it's range approximated that of the singers, and the piano. The sections making up this collection, were selected for personal reasons from the score and also because they lent themselves to the combination of viola and piano. The order of the movements was made for structural reasons, and generally, but not strictly, follows their position within the opera.

At some date, in the future, it is my hope to produce a single-movement fantasy-piece for piano built on the main themes from the opera, rather in a the manner of a latter-day Liszt!

-Derek Healey September 27th 2018


  • Call Number:
  • MI 3212 H434sea 2018
  • Genre:
  • Strings (bowed), + Keyboard, Viola
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 12, 2018
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • Score
    20 Pages
    Height: 30 cm
    Width: 23 cm
  • Additional Information:

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'Seabird Island' Revisited, Op. 157 six fragments for viola and piano
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