A story everyone knows
… from the vantage of a woman we must remember
A new chamber opera by Métis playwright Marie Clements and Juno-winning composer Brian Current, Missing gives voice, in English and Gitksan, to the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Set in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and along the Highway of Tears, Missing is a poetic expression of loss and hope.
Missing is an extraordinarily moving and thought-provoking work… a magnificent mélange of singing, acting and music that, one hopes, will be seen by audiences across Canada and the world. – The Whole Note
Co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and City Opera Vancouver, the opera, developed over two and a half years, had its world première in Vancouver and Victoria in November 2017.
We are proud to partner with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Prince George Native Friendship Centre, Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, Regina Symphony Orchestra, and Prince George Symphony Orchestra, to remount Missing for presentation in Victoria, Regina, and Prince George.
VICTORIA (SOLD OUT)
Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2, 7 pm
The Baumann Centre, 925 Balmoral Road, Victoria, BC
On the traditional lands of the Lekwungen People, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations
November 8 and 9 at 7:30 pm
Regina Performing Arts Centre, 1077 Angus St, Regina, SK
On Treaty 4 Territory
November 15 and 17 at 7 pm. November 16 at 2 pm
House of Ancestors “Uda Dune Baiyoh,” 355 Vancouver St, Prince George, BC
On the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh Peoples
We welcome your comments! If you attend Missing in Victoria, Regina, or Prince George, please take a few minutes to complete a short survey to help us in our ongoing effort to understand our audience’s experience. All answers will be confidential and anonymous. Get started now!
This touring production is made possible by the extraordinary support of the following:
- The Canada Council for the Arts
- The Government of Canada through the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund of the Department for Women and Gender Equality
- The Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage
- TD Bank
- Sask Culture
- K&S Potash Canada
- City of Regina
Pacific Opera is also profoundly grateful for the confidence, faith, and vision of funders who supported the commission and the 2017 world première of Missing, including the Vancouver Foundation; the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program; Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia; the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, the Victoria Foundation, the Koerner Foundation, and an anonymous Foundation.
2019 | 2020
English and Gitksan with surtitles
$35 | $15 Student
Estimated Run Time: 1hr 45mins
Pre-performance talk: Territory Acknowledgement and Welcome
Performance in one Act 1hr 45mins
Set and Projection Designer
Gitxsan Translations and Coach
Gitxsan IPA Transcriptions
Michael David Schwan
...an extraordinarily moving and thought-provoking work, and a milestone for the opera world. - The Whole Note
...soars and plummets in unison with the fierce complexity of emotions that are brought to bear through the telling of this tragic tale - Opera Canada
Above: Scenes from the 2017 world première production of Missing
Review of Missing by Ashley Martin for the Regina Leader-Post
In an opera, you expect the performers to be singing the entire time.
But there’s a scene in Missing wherein Rose-Ellen Nichols just weeps.
Weep isn’t a strong enough word. She’s in anguish.
She portrays a character simply called Native Mother. Her daughter has gone missing on British Columbia’s Highway 16, the Highway of Tears...
Later, the missing girl’s brother (Kyle Lehmann) corrects a stereotype. “My sister was on her way home from school,” he sings. “She was going to go to law school to be a lawyer. She had plans. She wanted a family. She wanted to live. She wanted to love. She wanted what every human being wants.”
...Before Friday night’s show, there was acknowledgment of the family members in the audience, survivors whose loved ones are among the many missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
John Threlfall of Check the Program reviews Missing.
It’s rare that a new opera can achieve that delicate balance between being both timely and timeless — the former commenting on the world around us, while the latter offers material that will still be relevant for future audiences, regardless of when it is performed
... this powerful, moving and compelling production should be required viewing for any contemporary Canadian audience...
“Missing” is ideally suited for opera, which so often focuses on high tragedy and death, and is often performed in other languages, making the English and Gitskan libretto with surtitles here neither foreign or difficult to follow.
Ashley Martin of the Regina Leader-Post interviews librettist Marie Clements and mezzo soprano Heather Molloy, who portrays Jess in Missing.
Marie Clements ... focused on two young women, one Indigenous and one non-Indigenous ... She wanted to send a message of “our responsibility in making it possible that all young women have a chance to live a life and follow their plans and their dreams...”
Focusing on individual characters is “a great place to start having these conversations,” said Molloy. Each missing or murdered woman is a person with a story, “rather than these huge, horrible statistics...”
Mike Devlin of the Times Colonist interviews Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations mezzo soprano Marion Newman.
Marion Newman has worked for two decades on projects that were artistically challenging ... But few have matched the spiritual satisfaction of her two-year involvement with Missing, the critically lauded chamber opera by Métis librettist Marie Clements and composer Brian Current....
Missing will have resonance for decades to come, and Newman hopes it will provide some healing to families of missing and murdered women.
“When we hear someone singing to us, I think it just resonates differently in our bones than reading a story does, or seeing news bits on television. We absorb that story so fully that I think it makes us have to process it more deeply. And in that way, I think art can make change, because it changes us.”
Linda Ostrom interviews Marion Newman for Camosun College's student newspaper Nexus.
“Probably [Missing is] one of the operas that I think is the most important to be happening again and again and again,” says Newman. “I am thrilled to be part of it.”
...“These are our mothers, sisters, our aunts, our friends, and they matter,” she says. “They deserve to be looked for, to be protected...
The provincial government introducing legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ... would make Dr. Wilson, who Newman performs ... have ... hope.
Media from the 2017 World Première
2017 CBC Radio Interview with Marion Newman
Mezzo-soprano Marion Newman discusses her role and the use of the beautiful Gitksan language in the 2017 production of Missing, an opera that shines a light on missing and murdered Indigenous women.
2016 CBC Radio Interview with Marie Clements
Marie Clements talks about the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and how opera can accomplish something new in telling this very human story. A 2016 interview on CBC's Early Edition, before the opera was written.
PDF of selected press coverage and reviews of the 2017 world première of Missing, co-produced by City Opera Vancouver and Pacific Opera Victoria.