the world premiere of a tragic opera
OPERA The Ecstasy of Rita Joe March 24 and 25, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
The folks at Opera in Concert are used to taking risks, reviving little-known classical and baroque works. They take a different gamble by staging the world premiere of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, an opera based on George Ryga’s classic play. Set to music by local composer Victor Davies, it’s the story of a young Indigenous woman (played by First Nations mezzo Marion Newman) who leaves the reserve for a new life in the city, only to find loneliness, racism, and a spiral of drug use and sex work that culminates in her rape and murder.