love thy neighbor   a capella opera for four singers


Edward Top (conducting), Joel Klein, CD Saint, Katherine Landry, Siri Olesen, Tom Cone (foreground) during a rehearsal of Love Thy Neighbor.

Libretto by Tom Cone

This 10-minute opera is set in Jerusalem where four characters spy on their neighbour every Friday night. This particular evening they witness a terrible tragedy.

Seduction and murder, voyeurism and indifference. In this a capella opera all accompanying musical elements are woven into the fabric of the four characters: Ronnie and Nancy, George and Laura.


For performance rights and ordering the score, please contact Edward Top

From the press:

‘VSO composer-in-residence Edward Top’s very 21st-century micro-opera Love Thy Neighbour was a singularly bold way of beginning an evening of Mahler songs and Brahms (Sunday evening at the new Orpheum Annex). It is an arresting work, bristling with ingenuity.’

David Gordon Duke, Review: Bold programming of Mahler Plus pays off for VSO, Vancouver Sun, January 24, 2012.

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‘Edward Top is the VSO's new composer-in-residence; his opera Love Thy Neighbor was written for the Opera Project in May in collaboration with librettist Tom Cone. Top, who hails from the Netherlands, moved to Vancouver the previous year.

"The text is action-driven, moving in a linear narrative from discovery to discovery, quite Aristotelian but there is a big narrative surprise," Top says. The forces are limited.

"Four singers, who could conceivably perform this out of the blue any-where," with no instrumental musicians or props, Top says. "It's a very conservative libretto, one that Verdi or Britten would have understood as classical opera narrative. The story, set in Jerusalem, is really about three religions."

Considering the work's religious/ethical concerns in the light of Mahler's struggles with his religious beliefs, the resonances seem entirely appropriate for the most adventurous add-on to Mahler Plus.’

David Gordon Duke, VSO puts Mahler gems in historical settings, Vancouver Sun, January 19, 2012