Your Daughter Fanny is a 45' music drama for female voice, violin, and piano. The work was commissioned through WW100 Living Memorial Commemoration Fund from Memorial University of Newfoundland, written especially for soprano Caroline Schiller and Duo Concertante (violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves). The libretto was written by CBC Canada Reads winner Lisa Moore based on war letters written by the Victorian Aid Detachment nurse Frances Cluett (Fanny) stationed in Europe during World War I.
The composition has both the operatic and music theatre setting: it opens with a prologue that followed by 6 “grand” arias or scenes with narration in between, it is designed to showcase the talent of the solo singer and the violin/piano duo including singing, playing, and acting; more so, images of WWI via a slide show and electronic sound effects of wars are incorporated as an integral element in the presentation. Programmatically, the composition has a synopsis that outlines Fanny’s early protected life in Newfoundland and her 4 years of overseas services as Volunteer Aid Detachment nurse in New York City, London, and France until the end of the Great War. Through her many letters, postcards, and telegrams to her mother, the entire work covers a huge scope of scenarios depicting her experiences and the brutality of war in a most personal way. The eclectic music elements such as bel canto style singing, extended techniques, quotation of NFL folk songs, ragtime music, and electronic sound effects provides a dramatic music journey, transforming Fanny’s character from a free spirit, innocent young woman to someone strong and brave. In a poetic and unbiased manner, the music conveys Fanny’s heartbreak through witnessing the violence of war, where brave young men dies and her courage to continue- a part of true humanity in history.