Aunt Helen

Monica Pearce
Monica Pearce
Composition Date: 2012
Duration: 00:10:00
Genre: Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Soprano
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Programme Note:
Dr. Helen Creighton was truly a pioneer in collecting folksongs, and her contribution to the documentation of Maritime folksongs 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 innumberable folksongs, and many more untold.

Based on her autobiography A Life in Folklore, I wrote the libretto as a one-sided radio interview that might have occured in her seventies. The unseen interviewer asks three questions: 1) How did you come to be a folksong collector? 2) What are some of your favorite 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 folksongs are heard, partly to give further meaning to her answers, and partly to colour her experience with the most intrinsic material of her life.


  • Call Number:
  • MV 1101 P357au
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • February 14, 2013
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (23 p.) ;
    23 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Language Information
  • Main language: English
  • Additional Information:
  • This work was written for the Opera from Scratch workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2012. Many thanks to Vocalyse Artistic Director Janice Jackson, soprano Maureen Batt, and Helen Creighton Folklore Society.

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Aunt Helen by Monica Pearce (Score)
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Aunt Helen : Score
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Aunt Helen
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary