The Pax Christi Chorale has commissioned Odawa composer Barbara Croall to write this new oratorio to be performed in the Ojibwe Odawa language. This piece for large choir and chamber orchestra focuses on the ‘manidoo’—spirit essence, mystery, spiritual energy, life force — from an Anishinaabe perspective. This oratorio is about the intangible yet palpable feelings humans have of “spirit” — the omnipresence of something which is the reason for being.
The powerful text and beautifully evocative music make the message of Miziwe — Everywhere — more relevant now than ever. The concept of ‘spirit’ as something essential to all humanity and all living things … seen and unseen, known and unknown. ‘Spirit’ as an entity of life unto itself—especially how it exists within everything in creation (and even beyond omaa aking — here on earth.
The sound of human voices from Pax Christi Chorale and classical vocal soloists Krisztina Szabó (mezzo soprano) and Justin Welsh (baritone) will mesh with traditional Indigenous singers Rod Nettagog (singer, dancer, drummer) and Barbara Croall (voice, cedar flute). Vocals will be supported by orchestral sounds featuring the Toronto Mozart Players and traditional Anishinaabe instruments. This combination will draw upon the sounds and words of the original Anishinaabemowin text (Ojibwe/Odawa language), which features original song material, expansive use of vocal and instrumental techniques, and expressive ‘breathing’ in various ways, to extend beyond merely ‘human’ notions of sound to include sounds that we observe in nature — elements, many different kinds of creatures, and the seasons.
“I am honoured to be invited by Artistic Director David Bowser and the Pax Christi Chorale to create a new work which unites Indigenous and non‐Indigenous vocalists and instrumentalists into one humanity‐based concept—that of ‘spirit,'” says Barbara Croall. “During these trying times in history worldwide and the aftermath of “truth and reconciliation” (my mother and other family members are residential school survivors), focusing “toward the light” has seemed especially important — to always consider hope and continuity as the never‐ending thread of life.”
The work: A new oratorio by Odawa composer Barbara Croall
When: Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 3pm
Where: Koerner Hall at the Telus Centre for Performance & Learning (273 Bloor St. West, Toronto)
Featuring: Krisztina Szabó (mezzo soprano), Justin Welsh (baritone), Rod Nettagog (drummer, singer, dancer), Barbara Croall (voice, cedar flute) and the Toronto Mozart Players
Performed in: Ojibwe Odawa with English and French SURTITLES™
Single tickets range from $30 – $65, now on sale.
Call 416-408-0208 or in person: Koerner Hall, Telus Centre for the Performance & Learning Centre Box Office (273 Bloor St W.)
About Pax Christi Chorale:
Hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of Canada’s finest oratorio choirs, Pax Christi Chorale delivers stirring performances with great polish and total conviction. For over 30 years, Pax Christi Chorale has built a strong oratorio tradition, including North American and Canadian premieres, the resurrection of long-forgotten masterpieces, performances of traditional masterworks interpreted through a contemporary lens, and commissions and recordings of new Canadian choral works.
Over the next three years Pax Christi Chorale will commission three new oratorios by Canadian woman composers, to be premiered between 2019 and 2021. Miziwe (Everywhere) is the first of these commissions. www.paxchristichorale.org