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A Creature of Habit (2009)

Opera in 1 Act
3 Men/3 Women, optional chorus, piano

Premiered by Rising Tide Theatre, Trinty, NL, July 16, 2009

A Creature of Habit is a new opera inspired by the early seventeenth-century writings of Sir Richard Whitbourne. Whitbourne was an English sea captain, a governor and the first person to conduct a formal court of law in the New World. His publication A Discourse and Discovery of New-Founde-Land (1615) was written to encourage European settlers to come to Newfoundland and was distributed to parishes throughout Great Britain with just that aim. The final paragraph of the long, but eloquently written work, describes an encounter that Whitbourne supposedly had with a mermaid in St. John's harbour in 1610. It is a fantastically poetic admission from an otherwise stoic military-man and scientific naturalist. It is this episode, which inspired the events of A Creature of Habit.

Commissioned by Rising Tide Theatre, the opera premiered in at the company's Seasons in the Bight summer festival in Trinity, NL on July 16, 2009. Burry is thrilled to have had another opportunity to bring opera to an area which shaped him so much as an artist.