Flying Colours 2008

Regina, Canada

“One of the most productive, creative and efficient rehearsals of my life!” Stephen Hatfield, Flying Colours composer

Flying Colours is a masque of about twenty minutes in length, in which the story is told through ritualized movement and costume, as well as through music. The piece, a threeway commission, was also written for Joe Ohrt and his Central Bucks High School-West Chamber Choir, and Eric Wilkinson and the Sumpter High School Choir. Flying Colours is a parable of suspicion and conflict. Four tribes, each with their own standards of costume and custom, concentrate so much on each other’s differences that they miss how their four tribal chants create a lovely texture when sung simultaneously. Tensions mount amidst escalating skirmishes and broken treaties until there is war, destruction, an afterlife of haunted grief, and a closing section that suggests both how we never learn, and yet at the same time how we must. The Saskatoon Children’s Choir performed the Saskatchewan premiere of Flying Colours in Regina on May 12, 2008.  This project also involved a filming project, led by Ron Berntson, resulting in a wild and wooly DVD of Stephen Hatfield’s brilliant composition.