- Chan Centre Presents
- Hasalala Danxalax: Marion Newman & Friends
Hasalala Danxalax: Marion Newman & Friends
Four powerful operatic voices celebrate the diverse, ever-growing repertoire of Indigenous composers, interpret works from the Western canon, and confront the devastating impact of colonialism on the lives, cultures, and art of this land’s First Peoples.
Mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, praised for her “rich, opulent tone” (Opera News), is joined by soprano Melody Courage, tenor Asitha Tennekoon, and baritone Jonathon Adams for a sweeping program of art song, operatic arias and ensemble pieces. Members of the Kwagiulth, Stō:lo, Cree, Métis and Sri Lankan communities, they draw from a variety of genres including Indigenous musical forms that Canada’s potlatch ban made illegal from 1885 to 1951. 70 years later, with the movement for systemic change and social justice at its most urgent, these dynamic artists raise their voices in song to spotlight established and emerging Indigenous composers and librettists such as Barbara Croall, Ian Cusson, Marion Newman, Yvette Nolan, Joy Harjo, and Marie Clements. Joining the vocalists on stage are flutist Jessica McMann, violinist Parmela Attariwala, and pianist Perri Lo.
Reframing European music alongside extraordinary melodies and styles that have resonated across this land since the beginning of time, Hasalala Danxalax is vital music; presented not through the lens of stereotypes and colonial oppression, but in a way that each of the Indigenous creators feels is true to the core of their art. Hilatołala! Listen!
“When we hear someone singing to us, I think it just resonates differently in our bones than reading a story does, or seeing news bits on television. We absorb that story so fully that I think it makes us have to process it more deeply. And in that way, I think art can make change, because it changes us.”Marion Newman