To Begin Again
Music and Lyrics by Lesley Sutherland
Featuring The Kettle Choir with Tina Chang, piano.
The impact of COVID-19 and the public shut down in March had a devastating impact on the members of the Kettle Choir and Writing Guild, Vancouver Opera’s longtime community partner. On March 16th, 2020, the weekly choir rehearsals and writing workshops were cancelled. For those living with mental health conditions, the routine of weekly rehearsals provides a sense of stability and accountability to others. When rehearsals were abruptly cancelled, the participants lost their connection with the teaching artists, each other, and the art.
As stated by one of the participants, their voices need to be heard more than ever as society comes to terms with our new reality. To Begin Again is a new song written for the choir by composer and music director Lesley Sutherland. Rehearsals and a public performance brought everyone together at the O’Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera. The experience has been turned into a short film that highlights how this already vulnerable community was impacted by the shut down and concludes with a performance of To Begin Again.