After the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent,
the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.
— T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton", Four Quartets
With music described as “haunting” and “eerily beautiful” (Tapestry Opera), British-Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston specializes in music for voice. She is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in Music at King's College London (UK), and is in residence at Glyndebourne (2019-2021), building on her 2015-2017 Fellowship at American Opera Projects in New York.
Winner of the Canadian Music Centre’s 2018 Toronto Emerging Composer Award, the 2018 Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes for female opera creators in Canada, and a winner in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, her music has been heard at Nuit Blanche, the 21C Music Festival, World Choir Games, on tour with The Bicycle Opera Project, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, and with Toronto’s Thin Edge New Music Collective. She worked with Steve Reich at Bang On a Can’s Summer Music Festival and at Soundstreams’ Emerging Composer Workshop, and her next project is a full-length opera with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Toronto's Opera 5.
An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a National Councillor of the Canadian League of Composers, her creative and research work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the SOCAN Foundation, and SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). Her articles and reviews have appeared in Tempo (Cambridge), the Cambridge Opera Journal, The Opera Quarterly (Oxford), Canadian Music Educator, Notations (Canadian Music Centre), Ludwig Van Toronto (formerly Musical Toronto), Musicworks magazine, at the International Conference on Music Since 1900, the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy conference and the RMA Annual Conference. Her master’s and doctoral research was fully funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS-M and CGS-D); she holds a doctorate in Composition from the University of Toronto, supervised by Christos Hatzis, where she was awarded the Theodoros Mirkopoulos Fellowship in Composition.
opera (90’00); premiere in 2019-2020 season
with the support of
Singing Only Softly, a chamber song-opera (30’00), full premiere 2019
2019, May 10
Somerville, MA, USA
2019, April 7
Penelope, for soprano and piano
Zoe Clarke, soprano; Clare Miller, piano
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
2019, April 3
2019, March 24
2019, March 23
New York City, USA
2019, March 23
2019, March 21
2019, March 19
2019, March 10
2019, March 6-8
2019, March 1-4
Sackville, New Brunswick
2019, February 19
2019, February 12
2019, January 5
New York City, USA
“‘Site’-specific Opera: Invisible Cities and Postminimal Opera in the Age of YouTube.“
Conference paper. Seventh International Conference on Minimalist Music
Cardiff University, Wales, 22-26 Aug. 2019
“‘salt strange and sweet’: Timbre and Tension in Written on Skin.”
Conference paper. American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, 1-4 Nov. 2018
Interview with The WholeNote magazine with Lindsay Lalla, by Lydia Perovic, about art song, working with text, and Lalla's “Imperfect Song“ recital.
click here for the web version
click here for WholeNote's September 2017 issue PDF (page 32)