Lloyd Burritt writes:

In choosing a topic on which to base my opera The Dream Healer I was influenced, as in my past topic-choices for major orchestral pieces, by ones that are not easily socially acceptable. For example, some of the topics I have used are assassinations ("Assassinations for Orchestra"), drug overdose ("Overdose for Orchestra"), pestilence ("Cicada for Orchestra") and now, mental illness and suicide ("The Dream Healer").

In my search for a suitable book I found Timothy Findley's PILGRIM. It haunted me - this story about the life and work of Carl Jung. I have always been fascinated by Jung's theories about stream of consciousness, alchemy and the collective unconscious.

It is exciting for me to compose a piece of music using a controversial topic as a starting point. Music often coaxes audiences toward a greater empathy for, and understanding of, complex issues.

Christopher Allan's and Don Mowatt's extraordinary libretto has enabled me to wake up each morning with excitement and anticipation toward my next bar of music. In composing the music for The Dream Healer I hope I have been able to reach deep into my psyche to find a way to touch others. Nancy Hermiston's vision of The Dream Healer premiere at The Chan Centre, featuring Judith Forst, for UBC's Centenary in 2008 completes a cycle -- back to where my first composition class began with Jean Coulthard fifty years ago.

The ultimate gift for me is to bring people together so they can hear and feel something that is, at first perhaps, ineffable. When the individual listener's experience begins I feel we will have done what we set out to do -- to bring people of all ages and cultures together to experience something deep within us all. Frequently, it is I who am surprised.