This program explores manifestations of Métis identity from the early 1800s to the present. Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy and the Wood and Wire Quartet perform music by T. Patrick Carrabré, Ian Cusson and Neil Weisensel, charting the complex challenges faced by the Métis in their struggle for recognition as a unique people.
This concert will include a new work by T. Patrick Carrabré, commissioned by Harbourfront Centre.
Ooma paminikaywin kee-igzaminee wawpahchikawtaywina di Michif onishtawinikashoowin weeput 1800s ouschi ishko maykwawt anoush. Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy pi Wood pi Wire Quartet, maytawaywak la meuzik ouschi T. Patrick Carrabré, Ian Cusson pi Neil Weisensel, nishtawinawkouhkaywak awymen muwnayshkawkaywina shi-ouhpishkwayyeeyawhi aen Michif kakwawtakistawhk poor onishtawinumakaywin ishi si rawr di moond.
Ooma kischee L’itee Meuzik daw li Zhardaen li shou chikaykinikawtayw aen neu atoushkaywin ouschi T. Patrick Carrabré tawnima kee-ahkichikawtayw ouschi Harbourfront En plass.
N. Weisensel, Three Songs from Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North, book and text by SM Steele
- “The Mending of Violence Song”
- “Beneath the Endless Azure Sky”
- “You Come and Go”
T. Patrick Carrabré, Métis Songs (2022)
Chanson de la Gornouillèr (from a song by Pierre Falcon)
My People Will Sleep… (story chosen by the soloist)
Since When (poem by Gregory Scofield)
I. Cusson, Five Songs on Poems of Marilyn Dumont (2017)
- Letter to Sir John A. MacDonald
- The Red & White
- Helen Betty Osborne
- Half-Human/Half Devil (Halfbreed) Muse
- The Devil’s Language
About Rebecca Cuddy
Métis multidisciplinary artist and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy is recognized as “the next generation who will do incredible things.” (WholeNote, 2019). This season she will make her Canadian Opera Company debut in Voices of Mountains and appear in Soundstreams’ Garden of Vanished Pleasures and Encounters: Indigenous Voices and Shatter with the Toronto Concert Orchestra.
Cuddy has performed in the premieres of several new Indigenous operas across Turtle Island, including Two Odysseys: Pimootewin / Gállábártnit (winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble) Shanawdithit (the Dora Award winner for Outstanding New Opera), Flight of the Hummingbird and Li Keur, Riel’s Heart of the North.
Cuddy is now involved in directing and theatre creation, incorporating visual arts and musicianship into her work. The 2022 season will mark several new endeavours for her, most notably as the inaugural artist for the Canadian Opera Company’s Land Acknowledgement Commissioning Program in which she will also direct and perform in Musique 3 Femmes’ The Chair for the 2022 Digital Opera Festival and create and premiere a digital theatre piece with SpiderWebShow at FOLDA 2022. She is joining the Stratford Festival 2022 Langham Directors’ workshop and assistant directing under Alisa Palmer on Hamlet-911 by Ann‑Marie MacDonald.
Cuddy sits in council with the Canadian Opera Company Circle of Artists, the National Theatre School of Canada Indigenous Circle, Soundstreams and The Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. She is the current Indigenous Artist-in-Residence at the National Theatre School of Canada in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal).
About Amy Hillis
As a violinist, Amy Hillis has “a rich, warm sound and has mastered the violin with such ease, that it is impossible to ignore her passion in performance.” (Ludwig Van, Montreal). Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Hillis now collaborates with performers and composers globally to explore new approaches to classical and contemporary music. She has been commissioned for and premiered in new Canadian works by Vincent Ho, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, Carmen Braden, Randolph Peters and Jordan Pal. As part of the meagan&amy duo, Hillis was selected as the winner of the inaugural Pan-Canadian Recital Tour to perform 50 recitals across all thirteen Canadian provinces and territories during the 2019–2020 season. Her duo’s debut album Roots demonstrates the connections between Canadian compositions and works from the traditional canon of classical repertoire. She is the winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, an artistic residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Schulich School of Music Concerto Competition at McGill University and the Sylva Gelber Foundation Music Award. Hillis performs on the 1902 Enrico Rocca violin, on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
About T. Patrick Carrabré
T. Patrick Carrabré is a Métis composer living in Vancouver, BC. Construction of identity and community engagement are long-term themes in his compositions, artistic programming and administrative activities. His best-known works include Inuit Games for katajjak (throat singers) and orchestra, which was the recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers (2003), Sonata No. 1, The Penitent, for violin and piano, and From the Dark Reaches, which were nominated for several JUNO awards. He was recently recognized with a second Western Canadian Music Award (Classical Composer of the Year) for the album 100,000 Lakes. Other recent work includes Snewíyalh tl’a Staḵw (Teachings of the Water), written in collaboration with the Elektra Women’s Choir, and Orpheus (1) written in collaboration with pianist Megumi Masaki with both digital releases happening in the 2021–2022 season.
About Ian Cusson
Ian Cusson is a composer of art song, opera and orchestral work. Of Métis (Georgian Bay Métis Community) and French-Canadian descent, Cusson’s work explores Canadian Indigenous experience including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures.
Cusson studied composition with Jake Heggie (San Francisco) and Samuel Dolin and piano with James Anagnoson at the Glenn Gould School. He is the recipient of the Chalmers Professional Development Grant and grants through the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
Cusson was an inaugural Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2017–2019 and was Composer-in-Residence for the Canadian Opera Company in 2019–2021. He is a Co-Artistic Director of Opera in the 21st Century at the Banff Centre and the recipient of the 2021 Jan V. Matejcek Classical Music Award from SOCAN. Cusson is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.
He lives in Oakville with his wife and four children.
About Neil Weisensel
Neil Weisensel is an opera composer and conductor based in Winnipeg. His eight acclaimed operas, including Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North, Stickboy and Merry Christmas Leacock, have been performed across Canada at the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg’s Symphony and Little Opera Company, the Saskatoon Opera and Symphony and across the United States as well.
Weisensel has collaborated and co-wrote music with Michael Bublé, one of which garnered a Genie nomination in the Best Song category for the film Here’s To Life. With his wife, the vocalist/songwriter Rachel Landrecht, he has performed for former US President Bill Clinton, Oscar winner Al Gore, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other luminaries.
Weisenel has received grants, awards and fellowships from the US National Endowment for the Arts, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Manitoba, Winnipeg, and British Columbia Arts Councils and the Banff Centre for the Arts. His concert music, stage works and arrangement have been performed by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, the Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver), Opera Lyra Ottawa, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Vancouver New Music, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Edmonton Opera, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra and Edmonton’s Hammerhead Consort. Weisenel serves as Adjunct Professor (Theory, Composition) at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg where he lives with his wife Rachel and daughter Miracle.
Dates & Times
Rebecca Cuddy – Mezzo Soprano
Gillian Carrabré, Amy Hillis – Violin
Laurence Schaufele – Viola
Ariel Carrabré – Violoncello
Between Lower Spadina and Dan Leckie Way