“Across the globe, the arts have provided a creative pathway to breaking silences, transforming conflicts, and mending the damaged relationships of violence, oppression, and exclusion. From war-ravaged countries to local communities struggling with everyday violence, poverty, and racism, the arts are widely used by educators, practitioners, and community leaders to deal with trauma and difficult emotions, and communicate across cultural divides.” -- Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, 2015
Over a three-year period we will create and test a new chamber opera, MISSING WOMEN, set on the Downtown Eastside and Highway of Tears. It will tell a story everyone knows, from the vantage of a woman no one remembers.
The subject is well known. Its social innovation as chamber opera is unique. It will derive from research and scholarship, interview and consultation, public workshop and analysis. It will be given multiple performances and thereafter analyzed for response, shortcomings, and strength.
Our art is a vivid and memorable way to tell such a story. As a chamber opera, it may readily be taken to audiences where they live. Its libretto will be written by the distinguished First Nations playwright Marie Clements.
MISSING WOMEN is conceived for small forces, affordable and portable, testing the prospect that this story can be told in opera – faithfully and well. If successful, it will be a breakthrough in the art, and in the community.