Canoe at Weesageechak Begins to Dance 31

By Unsettled Scores / On / In Music, News, Opera, Theatre

We are excited to be part of this year’s Weesageechak Begins to Dance 31! We will be presenting an excerpt of our new full-length opera, Canoe, at the festival’s Opera Night on November 17 at Aki Studio. We are grateful to Native Earth Performing Arts for supporting the development of this work through their Mskomini Giizis Artist Residency this past summer.

Canoe is a tale of transformation that revolves around the lives of eccentric sisters, Constance and Gladys, and the flood that consumes their world. Blending Indigenous oral tradition with neo-baroque and jazz/blues motifs, Canoe is a unique operatic performance.

This presentation will feature Nicole Joy-Fraser, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk , Cecilia Lee on piano, and will be dramaturged by Moynan King.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/toronto/article/Native-Earth-Announces-The-Line-up-Of-WEESAGEECHAK-BEGINS-TO-DANCE-20181025

Week two (Mskomini Giizis Residency)

By Unsettled Scores / On / In Blog post, Comedy, Music, Opera

Directors and design team discuss ideas

As we moved into week two of our Mskomini Giizis Residency with Native Earth Performing Arts we were very excited to begin working with our director, Moynan King, and our designers Jay Havens (sets), Samay Arcentales Cajas (projections) and Kinoo Arcentales (costumes), as well as our stage manager, Heather Kilner!

As a team we’re having a great time teasing out the dramatic and comedic elements of this opera, as well as envisioning how it could be presented in a full production. We are thankful for everyone’s contributions as they fearlessly explore the work and experiment with us.

Singers Joanna Burt, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk and Alejandra Nuñez work on blocking

Week three will start to incorporate the instruments, as well as the design elements which, until now, have been in the planning and conceptualizing stages! 

One week down (Mskomini Giizis Residency)

By Unsettled Scores / On / In Blog post, Comedy, Music, Opera, Theatre

We have just finished our first week of the Mskomini Giizis Residency at Native Earth Performing Arts, and are so thankful to be able to work with such amazing musicians (and dogs)! Next week we will start working with director Moynan King, as well as our design team and stage manager on integrating the non-musical aspects of this opera.

Joanna Burt, Alejandra Nuñez, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk, Benjamin Stein
Dduk guk and Maeve

The World of Indigenous North America

By unsettledscores / On / In Music, Opera

Book: The World of Indigenous North America by Robert Warrior
Part IV: Aesthetics (pp. 287)

https://books.google.ca/books?id=XQgcBQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

“The 2009 Native opera Giiwedin. Written in the Anishinaabemowin, French, and English languages by Spy Dénommé-Welch (Algonquin) and Catherine Magowan, Native music sensibilities were applied to both voice and stringed instruments.”

Opera Laurier to explore Aboriginal history in Giiwedin

By unsettledscores / On / In Music, News, Opera

Wilfrid Laurier University Press Release:

Click Here to View Full Press Release

“Giiwedin (The North Wind), blends Baroque and traditional Indigenous music and aesthetics. It was written and co­composed by librettist Spy Dénommé­Welch, an Aboriginal education consultant at Laurier, and Catherine Magowan. Written in Anishnaabemowin, French and English, and set in Northeastern Ontario, Giiwedin tells the story of Noodin­Kwe, a 150­year­old Aboriginal woman, and her struggle to protect her ancestral land.

“‘This production offers a unique opportunity to our students to engage with First Nations history and culture, most of them for the very first time,’ said Professor Kimberly Barber, administrative coordinator of Opera at Laurier. ‘It also allows us to tell an important and mostly untold story about first contact and its impacts and implications in a way that is both accessible and theatrically intense, while allowing students to collaborate with the Aboriginal community.'”