Two duets


Unto the Earth:  Vignettes of a War (1993)

Opera in 1 Act (Libretto: Dean Burry)
3 men, 2 women, chamber orchestra.

Premiered at Mount Allison University, March '93

Written while Burry was a student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, Unto the Earth tells the story of two Newfoundland soldiers and their wives during the First World War. On July 1, 1916, over 800 members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment went "over the top" at Beaumont Hamel in France. The next morning only 69 answered role call. This was a devastating loss for the small island colony, then known as The Dominion of Newfoundland.

In addition to the overseas conflict, the opera deals with the war at home and the effects of losing so many fathers, brothers and sons. The music is contemporary, yet tuneful and the duet "Where are they?" was broadcast nationally on CBC Radio as part of Memorial Day programming in November 1992.

"The music, written by Dean Burry for singers and orchestra is quite remarkable. This third year student who last year gave us Joe and Mary Had a Baby has again created a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining piece of musical drama... "We are soldiers" is a song which has come back to haunt me all day with its rich textures and thickness and the song the women sing after their husband leaves captures the feelings that are not explicable with words."

-N. Lenco, Argosy Weekly, Sackville, NB