Montreal Symphony Orchestra set to tour Nunavik this fall
A new chamber opera will be performed in Inuktitut, Cree, Innu, French and English
The Montreal Symphony Orchestra will tour northern Quebec this fall, including performances in three Nunavik communities.
The orchestra, headed by conductor Kent Nagano, will visit Kuujjuaq Sept. 10, Salluit on Sept, 12 and Kuujjuaraapik on Sept. 14, before the tour continues south to stop in Cree and Innu communities.
“By reaching north, we are pushing the physical and artistic boundaries of our practice in order to share, exchange and create exceptional works reflecting the diversity of our country, as well as our current reality of living on shared and sometimes disputed territory,” said head conductor Kent Nagano in an April 28 news release.
The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, as it’s officially known in French, last visited the Nunavik region in 2008 with two Inuit throat singers and a storyteller.
This time around, a new chamber opera has been commissioned for the tour: Chaakepash, The Trickster’s Quest, by author Tomson Highway and composer Matthew Ricketts.
The opera features baritone Geoffroy Salvas and tenor Owen McCausland, who will perform in collaboration with local artists in some of the communities along the tour.
Puvirnituq’s Akinisie Sivuarapik is set to narrate the story in Inuktitut, alongside Quebec musician Florent Vollant who will narrate in Innu.
As part of the creation of the piece, its writers and orchestra took part in an artistic residency in Ivujivik organized by Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute.
The orchestra has also hosted music workshops with Nunavik Sivunitsavut students this past year.
The MSO has yet to announce venues for its September performances.