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a chamber opera based on letters exchanged between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf


All Things Lovely is a chamber opera inspired by the relationship of Virginia Woolf and her literary contemporary, lover, and muse Vita Sackville-West.

As she walks along the banks of the river Ouse, Virginia Woolf looks her last on “all things lovely”; loveliest among them is her passionate affair with the formidable Vita Sackville-West.The audience joins Virginia as she relives their whirlwind flirtation, intellectual sparring, intimate correspondence, and inevitable denouement. The charismatic, aristocratic and debonair Vita and the brilliant, aloof, and fragile Woolf are drawn inexorably together, but their relationship grows strained as Vita strays across continents and lovers. In Vita’s absence, Woolf creates an idealized Vita in the form of the character Orlando, whom she can keep by her side–only to risk losing the real flesh-and-blood Vita forever. With a libretto that features Woolf’s letters and diaries, written in her inimitable prose, All Things Lovely is a romantic, heartbreaking look into the lives and love of two brilliant women and the complex question of what it is to be an observer, a chronicler, and a participant in our world.

Instrumentation: soprano, mezzo-soprano, chorus [soprano, tenor, baritone], dancer, oboe, piano, string trio, percussion, fixed media

Workshopped by Opera McGill in the spring of 2022.

For complete score, email

Credit: E.B. Sciales

Sample Score:

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