In 2006, composer Don Macdonald was contracted to create a new choral work, Echoes of the Mountains, scored for soprano soloist, adult and youth chorus and orchestra. EVAA collaborated with four local choral ensembles (the Nelson Choral Society, Corazón, Cottonwood Singers, and Shenango) premiered this work on the occasion of the official opening of the Nelson and District Community Complex in the summer of 2007.
In 2008, the board of directors of EVAA began discussing the possibility of engaging Don Macdonald to also compose an opera. The board made the bold decision to commission Macdonald and playwright, Nicola Harwood to collaborate in the creation of the full-length opera, KHAOS. Three years later KHAOS had been completed, workshopped, cast and rehearsed, and in 2012 EVAA staged the opera’s world premiere production at Nelson’s Capitol Theatre to sold-out houses, wild standing ovations and rave critical reviews.
Later in 2012, KHAOS was toured to theatres in Cranbrook, Grand Forks, Trail, and Creston. In 2013, Opera America’s New York-based adjudication panel selected KHAOS as one of only four operas invited to be showcased at their New Works Sampler showcase at OA’s annual Opera Conference in Vancouver.