War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Review of the Requiem

Review of composer Jeff Ryan and my Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation

The mood of the work swings broadly from the meditative to the dramatic, and even to the operatic. The libretto connects personalized imagery taken from the soldiers’ minds, always casting back to the homeland, and this in turn is superimposed onto the text of the Requiem throughout all its movements. Steele’s words were often beautiful to hear, ranging from the sublime to the disturbing, and always maintaining an intrinsic sense of poetic metre. In turn, Ryan breathed a natural flexibility and elasticity into the poetic phrases, successfully aggregating them into a well-paced but coherent, large-scale structure. The result was a compositely clear sense of these soldiers’ lives, the hallmark of a collaboratively successful musical-poetic narrative arc.

from Calgary Herald Review by Stephan Bonfield, 13 November, 2012

photos and afterthoughts to come once I get a bit of rest

There are a few libretti left. Please contact Michael Hope of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra with requests for copies and/or donations to Cockrell House, Victoria BC, the transition house for homeless veterans.

2 Comments (Closed)


as the unofficial emissary, i wish to share my love and support to you, sms, in your moments of need, dreaded gi and all that followed… thank you for the opportunity to experience something glorious, something so painfully beautiful in the words and music and chaos and peace of the requiem. so much contrasting from the old-world luxury of the palliser (a jetted tub!), to the slick surfaces of cold, snowy calgary, to the opulence of attendees, to the women and men who serve, to the families whose eyes are rimmed with grief. i felt honour and loss and laughter and hope. much love, my friend xoxoxo

Nov 13 2012 · 22:43


Brava, Suzanne. And love.

I hope this comes out on CD so that we can hear it. It’s been a long time in the making and it’s wonderful that you have been able to wed your poetic gift with your musical background. (I’d forgotten that part!)

Nov 20 2012 · 20:37

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Review of the Requiem. It was posted here on November 13, 2012.


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