Q

A new opera shines a light on a story misrepresented by history, based on drawings made by Shanawdithit

Roughly 200 years ago, a young Indigenous woman named Shanawdithit watched as European settlers forced her community out of their homes. Composer Dean Burry and librettist Yvette Nolan talk about using opera to keep the story of Shanawdithit alive.
An original opera creates 'artistic descendants' for Newfoundland's lost Beothuk people. (Dahlia Katz)
Listen15:42

Roughly 200 years ago, a young Indigenous woman named Shanawdithit watched as European settlers forced her community out of their homes. Her people, the Beothuk, were the original inhabitants of what is now known as Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, a new opera is telling their story based on drawings made by Shanawdithit.

ComposerDean Burryand librettist Yvette Nolan joined host Tom Power live in the q studio to talk about using opera to keep the story of Shanawdithit alive.

Librettist Yvette Nolan and composer Dean Burry with host Tom Power in the q studio in Toronto. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Shanawdithit opens tonight in Toronto and runs until the end of the month. From there, the show will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador for a performance on Friday, June 21 at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

Produced by ​Vanessa Greco

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