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How do historiographies change over time? What are the factors that necessitate change? This article offers a comparative view of two productions of the opera Louis Riel, by Mavor Moore and Harry Somers, as a way to investigate these questions. Commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company for its 1967 season, then produced again fifty years later, these centennial and sesquicentennial productions provide a glimpse into the political and cultural circumstances that informed the dramaturgical choices that led to adaptations made to the production of 2017. Tracing the roots of a Nisga’a song, the “Kuyas” aria, from its preservation in the archive, to a rewritten version, and eventually back to its origins, tells a story of acculturation and assimilation. It also tells a story of resistance in the form of a wake-up call for a nation.