L-R: Heather Pawsey, soprano; Artistic Director, Astrolabe Musik Theatre; singing the role of Susan Allison. Delphine Derickson, elder, linguist, teacher and singer, Westbank First Nation.
A world premiere 60 Years in the making will be performed in open air at beautiful Quails’ Gate Winery this August! This is a true-life, Canadian Opera written by Barbara Pentland in the 1950’s takes place on the grounds of Quails’ Gate – the former home of Susan Allison, the heroine of this opera.
Co-producer and Canadian Soprano Heather Pawsey, couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this extraordinary event to the Okanagan. This unique story between the Allison family who arrived here in the 1870’s (whose log home still stands at Quails’ Gate) and the Westbank First Nations is magical. Susan Allison’s story in the opera tells of her sighting of a sea creature N-ha-a-itk in Okanagan Lake and her experiences with the Sylix people. Heather Pawsey explains, “This production explores how they tried to learn from each other, despite the language and cultural barriers.”
“It’s been a 19-year dream to bring The Lake “home” to the Okanagan, and these performances – combining historical Canadian opera with contemporary Sylix culture, with music and dance created especially for this production – shows that this amazing land, this rich history, is “home” for us all.”
Not just performed in operatic style, this production will be blending in the sounds and language of the First Nations.
“Musically, it’s profound to be able to sing with Westbank First Nation elder and singer Delphine Derickson: to blend and trade our vocal styles and languages, and our instruments (First Nations drum, western European instruments of the Turning Point Ensemble) in this wonderful new piece written by B.C. composer Leslie Uyeda especially for these performances (based on Ms Derickson’s n-ha-a-itk song, which she has generously shared with us.)”
Need I say more? Buy your tickets now and don’t miss this powerful experience!
August 15 & 16 at 8pm;
August 17 at 2pm
Quails’ Gate Winery
Adults: $45 / Students: $25
Reception, Dinner & Quails’ Gate Wine Pairings, and Brunch Packages Available
~ Jennifer Schell