An orchestra and its famed conductor go on tour in Quebec’s great northern tundra to visit Cree, Innu and Inuit communities and share an Indigenous chamber opera whose mission is to teach white men how to laugh, and therefore love more.
In fall 2018, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal created the chamber opera Chaakapesh: The Trickster’s Quest, a lighthearted story of the hero who founded the Innu people narrated in three languages (Innu, Cree and Inuktitut) by Florent Vollant, Ernest Webb and Akinisie Sivuarapik. The opera is an ingenious musical adaptation by contemporary composer Matthew Ricketts of renowned Indigenous playwright Tomson Highway’s wonderfully imagined and written Chaakapesh: The Trickster’s Quest. Maestro Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal showed remarkable boldness of vision by programming the opera for opening night of the OSM’s last season in Montreal and then taking it on tour to Nunavik and the Lower North Shore. As Nagano so aptly says in the film, “As artists, we’re used to taking risks.”
Kuujjuaq, Salluit, Kuujjuarapik, Oujé-Bougoumou, Mashteuiatsh, Maliotenam... Much more than just a tour, CHAAKAPESH, the film, puts the audience front row centre in an absolutely unique meeting place for the artists and the community. Poignant testimonies, important discussions and Maestro Nagano as we’ve never seen him before.
- A film by Roger Frappier and Justin Kingsley
- Kent Nagano
L’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
- Running time
- 123 minutes
- Max Films
- Distribution and international sales
- Fragments Distribution
- Press Montréal
- IXION Communications
Photos © Fragments Distribution