Manitoba Opera breaks new ground – while honouring historic territory and stories – in their latest production.  

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Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North is the first full-scale Indigenous-led opera to take place on a Canadian mainstage.  

Conceptualized by Métis poet and librettist Dr. Suzanne M. Steele, the work embraces Métis culture, placing the Michif peoples at the center of a quasi-historical, mystic operatic story.  The opera follows the story of Joséphine-Marie, who travels back in time to the 1870s and encounters an ancestor, Josette, who is on the run with a young, passionate Louis Riel.  

Co-composed by renowned fiddler Alex Kusturok and veteran opera composer Neil Weisensel, the score is informed by the Western art music world while embracing traditional melodies and showcasing the importance of Red River music.  

With a cast of 11 vocal soloists, an adult chorus, a children’s chorus, fiddlers, dancers and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the grand, momentous production is not one to be missed.  

Toronto-based, Anishanaabe baritone Evan Korbut and proud Manitoba Métis soprano Julie Lumsden were in the Classic 107 studio to tell us more about Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North.

Opening night is Saturday, November 18 at the Centennial Concert Hall with additional performances on Wednesday, November 22 and Friday, November 24.

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