Canadian Opera Company
MNO Education Officer Alicia Blore (second from right at
front) while MNO SYCP Lead Joanna Burt (far right at front)
plays the Métis spoons. Click here to view a larger version.

On June 6, 2016, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) staff arranged a presentation for the Canadian Opera Company (COC) to provide them with information on Métis history and culture. This presentation was arranged in preparation of their upcoming opera entitled, Louis Riel, which is set to run from April 20 to May 13, 2017. Composed by Harry Somers, Louis Riel is one of the most famous and influential Canadian operas.

The meeting began with a Métis 101 presentation by MNO Education Officer Alicia Blore and was followed by a presentation on Louis Riel by MNO Education Officer Anne Trudel. Trudel along with MNO Summer Youth Cultural Program (SYCP) Lead Joanna Burt then led the group in a Métis jigging activity, which Blore accompanied on the fiddle. The presentation was very well attended with approximately 60-70 people in attendance.

Trudel was very pleased with the presentation and the receptivity of those in attendance. “The questions and participation by those in attendance displayed a genuine interest in the Métis perspective on Louis Riel and our Métis culture,” said Trudel.

The success of this presentation would not have been possible without MNO Education Officer Wanda Botsford who developed the Louis Riel PowerPoint presentation and MNO Officer/Analyst Chantal Coté who will be following up any questions regarding the Métis language Michif.

Below is a synopsis of the upcoming Louis Riel opera:

Hero, martyr, or traitor? The story of the polarizing Métis leader and Canada’s westward expansion is told in this landmark work. Composed by Harry Somers for our nation’s centennial in 1967, this uniquely Canadian contribution to the opera world is returning on the work’s 50th anniversary, and will help mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The COC has joined with Canada’s National Arts Centre to proudly present this new production of Louis Riel.

For more information about the opera, please visit the Canadian Opera Company website.

Published on: July 4, 2016