Missing is a new chamber opera created by BC’s foremost Indigenous playwright and filmmaker, Marie Clements, with music by Juno award-winning composer Brian Current. Set in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and on the Highway of Tears, Missing gives voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. Following a world premiere in Vancouver, the opera is presented in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road, November 17 to 26, 2017.
The commission and production of Missing is a partnership between Pacific Opera Victoria and City Opera Vancouver, with a team of First Nations opera artists. The opera is directed by distinguished playwright and director Peter Hinton, and conducted by Timothy Long, who has conducted for Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, among others. Mr. Long is also founding conductor of The Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestra of classically trained musicians.
The cast of Missing features Métis Canadian coloratura soprano Melody Courage and Alberta–born soprano Caitlin Wood (POV’s Mary’s Wedding school tour), along with Kwagiulth and Stó:lō mezzo soprano Marion Newman (POV’s Cinderella) and mezzo–soprano Rose–Ellen Nichols, who created the title role in the opera Pauline, by Margaret Atwood and Tobin Stokes. Also in the cast are mezzo– soprano Heather Molloy, tenor Kaden Forsberg, and bass baritone Clarence Logan.
Andy Moro is the Scenic and Projection Designer for the production, with costume design by Carmen Thompson, lighting by John Webber, and sound design by Sandy Scofield.
Missing premières in Vancouver, November 3 to 11, followed by performances at the Baumann Centre in Victoria on November 17, 21, 22, 23, 25 at 7 pm and November 19 and 26 at 4 pm. Performed in English and Gitxsan, with English surtitles, the opera is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes long, with no intermission. Cultural support is provided at each performance in partnership with Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society.
Tickets for public performances of Missing are now sold out. Those interested in attending may phone the Pacific Opera Victoria Box Office at 250–385–0222 and add their name to the waitlist. Any tickets available will be sold in advance only –– $30 adults/$15 students. General seating. Doors open ½ hour prior to performance.
Along with public performances of Missing, community engagement initiatives honour the power of art and the spirit of conciliation. Developed by Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman, a member of Pacific Opera Victoria’s Board, and POV’s Community Engagement Coordinator Ron Rice, with the guidance and counsel of First Nations advisors, events include:
An Invitation–Only performance November 16 for the families who have experienced loss and the individuals and agencies who support them.
A screening of The Road Forward, Saturday, November 18, at 7 pm, at the Vic Theatre. This musical documentary by Marie Clements connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history – the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s – with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today. Ms. Clements will be in attendance, and a question–and–answer session will take place after the screening. Tickets are available from the Victoria Film Festival (250) 389–0444 or https://www.victoriafilmfestival.com/box-office/vic–films/the-road–forward/.
Classical Music and Indigenous Culture panel discussion. Saturday, November 25, at 2 pm at the Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road, Victoria. A discussion of Indigenous adaptations
to introduced cultural practices like opera and “classical“ music with Kwakwaka’wakw artist Lou– ann Neel. Coast Salish violinist Swil Kanim (Lummi, WA) hosts and performs. Attendance is free but reservations are required due to space limitations. Call Pacific Opera Victoria at 250-382–1641 or rsvp [at] pov.bc.ca
Missing is made possible by the extraordinary support of funders, including The Vancouver Foundation, which provided a $127,000 creation grant. Missing is one of 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. Pacific Opera Victoria is profoundly grateful for their confidence, faith, and vision and is similarly grateful for the support of Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia.
Community engagement initiatives are made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Victoria Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.
For more information about Pacific Opera Victoria’s 2017-18 season, and for tickets for mainstage and Baumann Centre presentations, visit www.pov.bc.ca or call 250-385–0222.