music theatre/opera

Oh Pilot

A chamber opera for four singers

Libretto and direction by Baņuta Rubess

Music by Nic Gotham

Oh Pilot is a cosmic love story. A jilted Pilot meets a heartbroken Tourist as they wait for a midnight flight with Coconut Tours.  Two angels, masquerading as a Flight Attendant and a drunken Businessman, torment the lovers with anxious premonitions. Love prevails, and the Pilot and the Tourist fly away into their dream world.


Oh Pilot
Foto Ansis Starks, AFI


The opera was originally commissioned and developed by Tapestry New Opera Works in Toronto, Canada, where it received a special showcase with Jean Stilwell singing as the Tourist during the Du Maurier World Stage Festival in 2000.

The international premiere took place in February 2007, produced by Latvijas koncerti and directed by Rubess at the Latvian National Opera New Hall. The production also toured to Kaunas, Lithuania as part of the Pazaislys music festival in 2009.

The libretto for the opera can be found here.

More information regarding the composer and the production can be found here.

Photogallery - Oh Pilot



“The theme of the opera is existential: about love, death (the possiblility of death), fate and human nature. About the desire to escape from solitude, and possibly, from ourselves.” The Flight Touches Down at the Opera, Inese Lūsiņa, March 2 (2007) , Kultūras Diena

The project PILOT by Nic Gotham and Baņuta Rubess proves that contemporary opera can be an enjoyable work of art with a clear message and a pleasant aftertaste… The quintessential message of the production was contained in the moving duet I have loved, sung by the Tourist and the Pilot, which sounded almost like classical opera,…The freshness of PILOT gives relief amidst the excess of modern malaise, with its light, personal touch, no stranger to heartache and pain, achieving the goal intended by the director, who has directed several operas, „ make the audience reflect.” And yes, there’s that special feeling, and a message.” Lauma Mellēna. 2007.03.03 Neatkarīgā avīze, Rīga.