MISHAABOOZ'S REALM (Le Royaume de Michabous)
In Anishnaabe aadizookan (traditional storytelling), particularly among the Ojibwe, Nanabozho is a spirit who figures prominently in many stories, including the story of the world's creation. Mishaabooz is another name for Nanabozho, the great trickster spirit who shape shifts into many creatures, most often into a giant Rabbit. It's in this form that the trickster is often sent to the earth by Gitche Manitou to teach the Ojibwe peoples.
Mishabooz's Realm will be in 3 Acts.
Act 1 begins with the creation story from an Indigenous perspective. Grandmother and Grandfather rock create Mother Earth followed by the male and female spirits. Through a soundscape of ancient humans coming into consciousness, before language, and the union of female and male, Gitchie Manito (Great mystery of Creator) breathes life into the humans (Aninishinaabe), first woman then man, from all four of the sacred directions, forming all colours of the human race. It is here that the Trickster (Mishaabooz) comes into interaction with the animals and humans, creating confusion and teachings, throwing the feminine spirit into the future.
Act 2 deals with the creation of the Dominion of Canada and the jarring presence of a foreign people on Turtle Island (North America). It will deal with the relationship of the eastern First Nations and the early French Settlers, the exchange of ideas and ways of life, and the dependency that those first settlers had on the First Nations peoples to survive in this climate and environment so foreign to Europeans. It will see the Europeans first encounter with the great First Nation communities of the Eastern part of North America, and the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries and the conflict that was created.
Later we will see the arrival of the British settlers and the eventual creation of the Dominion of Canada, along with the harsh realities this meant for the First Nation's people aligned with the French and English communities. This act will also explore the relationship with the leaders of Canada at the time of Confederation and the first Nations people, including the creation of the Residential School system and the assimilation of First Nation culture and the ensuing relationship with the rest of Canada.
Act 3 will be set in the future and concern the issue of our environment and land. The trickster will play an important part in this as all humans strive to save and even purify the land of Turtle Island. It will bring to the opera a sense of hope, the singing of union and reconciliation. As well, it will musically honour the First Nations territories where this Opera will be performed; The Ojibwe of Central Ontario, and the Mohawk, Algonquian (Anishinaabeg), Abenaki, and Haudenasaunee (Iroquois) of the southern Quebec territory.'
The opera will be staged in an interactive way allowing the core performers to have a flexible relationship with the chorus and the rest of the audience participants, enabling ease of interaction between the groups.
Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion (View)
5358 Haliburton County Rd. 21
Haliburton, ON K0M 1S0
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