Toronto – The Canadian Opera Company (COC) and National Arts Centre (NAC) have officially co-commissioned Empire of Wild, an imaginative and enthralling new mainstage opera from composer Ian Cusson and librettist Cherie Dimaline that centres the Georgian Bay Métis community at the heart of its story.
“I am thrilled to be partnering with the National Arts Centre in the creation of this important, contemporary opera,” says COC General Director Perryn Leech. “Empire of Wild embodies years of community-rooted work that the Canadian Opera Company has been doing through regular discourse with its Circle of Artists, and marks a tangible response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action. With this commission, we’re continuing our commitment to Indigenous representation by bringing a collaborative focus to the creation of opera that reflects a wider range of perspectives and lived experiences. We are proud to support the artistic leadership of some of Canada’s most prominent Indigenous directors, designers, composers, and stage crew.”
“It brings me immense pleasure to welcome Ian Cusson back to the COC as composer of this new opera, and I want to extend an especially warm welcome to Cherie Dimaline, joining us as librettist,” continues Leech. “The combined creativity of this pairing is simply off the charts and I look forward to seeing their artistic vision brought to life.”