Stokes' operatic music is contemporary and lyrical.
His own libretti explore fate, duty, love, beauty, entitlement, ambition, and more.
War in the Woods
Full-length libretto with large cast and chorus. Fictional storyline conflates and reimagines the Clayoquot Sound protests of 1993 and the falling of the Golden Spruce, 1997, Haida Gwaii. Project awarded a full SHHRC scholarship, 2018-2019.
Based on the true story of architect Francis Rattenbury, his young second wife, and her much younger lover. Music for this opera was presented in concert at the King's Head Theatre in London, UK in Sept, 2014, and at the Fairmont Empress Hotel Ballroom, Victoria BC, in 2012. A concert version from a 2015 workshop was presented in two concerts in British Columbia in April 2016. Rattenbury premiered in November 2017 in Victoria, Canada, with leads Richard Margison and Kathleen Brett, conducted by Arthur Arnold in a coproduction with Pacific Opera Victoria and the Other Guys Theatre Company.
A collaboration with author Margaret Atwood. Follows the life of famous Canadian poet/performer Pauline Johnson. Commissioned by City Opera Vancouver. Premiered Vancouver, Canada, May 2014. A concert version was presented at Le Festival Québec en toutes lettres, fall 2015.
Premiered March 2016, Long Beach Opera, livecast across the USA on cable and webcast worldwide. MORE... Produced again in November 2016 by New York City Opera.
Set in 2004 during the Iraq war, about PTSD, commissioned by City Opera Vancouver, initial funding by Annenberg Foundation/Explore.org. Librettist Heather Raffo. Initial workshop in Vancouver May 2012. A staged reading was presented at the World Stages Festival at the Kennedy Center March 2014 with conductor Miloš Repický and director Joanna Settle. Fallujah was the second place winner in the Armel Opera Competition in Hungary/Czech Republic, announced February 2014. An aria from Fallujah was featured at the TedMed talks at the Kennedy Center September 2014, sung by LaMarcus Miller. A week of workshopping culminating with a public reading took place at USF (Tampa, Florida) in association with Arts2Action and Building Bridges, March 2015, again with musical direction/conducting by Miloš Repický. Fallujah premiered at Long Beach Opera March 2016 with direction by Andreas Mitisek, conducted by Kristof Van Grysperre, with live broadcast by KCET and affiliates, across the US and on the internet. Fallujah was remounted by New York City Opera in the fall of 2016, at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street, New York. Learn more HERE.
Bianchi, a five-minute bicycle opera
Performed by Bicycle Opera Project Ontario in 2014 and 2015, and the Canadian East Coast in 2015, this opera tells a super short tale using the worst bicycle puns imaginable. Bianchi has also been performed as part of TSO's new creation festival, the Toronto Conservatory's new music festival, and elsewhere.
A short, one-act opera for three singers and three musicians written for Bicycle Opera Project, set in a shuttle on the way to Mars. Premiered April 2016, Toronto, Canada. MORE...
Set on Pelee Island, Lake Erie, Canada near the end of the 18th century. Produced in 2001 in Victoria BC by The Other Guys Theatre Company at the Belfry Theatre, 2005 by the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, and 2015 by Highlands Opera Studio, Ontario.
Based on true stories and an Indigenous myth from Pelee Island Set at the Vin Villa vineyard, home, wine cellar, and the Pelee Island lighthouse, amongst the migrating Monarch butterflies. The work explores fate, beauty, and legacy.