The Flight of the Hummingbird

May 19, 2020 10:00am

Venue Pacific Opera Website

Learning for Young People

An enchanting new opera for young people, The Flight of the Hummingbird began a tour of more than 100 BC schools and community venues in January 2020. The tour and sold-out performances at Pacific Opera Victoria’s Baumann Centre were stalled due to COVID 19.

To support students and educators in their online learning – and to delight everyone else – Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera presented a free broadcast of The Flight of the Hummingbird on May 19, 2020, that was available for the following year.

Please read on below for more information about the opera, videos of post-show activities for young people, musical excerpts, and more.

About the Opera

In this delightful and thought-provoking work, the animals of the forest are inspired to come together by Dukdukdiya, the Hummingbird, to save their beautiful home from a raging fire.

With music by Maxime Goulet and libretto by the acclaimed Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Barry Gilson, The Flight of the Hummingbird is based on an indigenous parable from the Quechuan people of South America. The story of the brave hummingbird travelled through pre-contact trade routes to become well known within Haida culture.

The opera is influenced by the graphic novel Flight of the Hummingbird, by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and includes elements of his dramatic Haida-manga illustrations.

The Flight of the Hummingbird was co-commissioned and co-produced by Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera. The opera is 45 minutes in length and features four singers and a small ensemble. It is suitable for students in Kindergarten through Grade 9.

Resources & Media


Post-Show Activities

Q&A with the Artists: Artists from The Flight of the Hummingbird answer the top five questions asked by children after performances of the opera.

These four videos feature arts-based activities for elementary students to try after they watch the video of The Flight of the Hummingbird.

Story Activity

Music Activity

Land / Physical Activity

Climate Action Activities using visual art

The Song of Persistence

Dedicated to Indigenous Peoples, their neighbours, and friends, who persist in keeping our one world safe for our children
Composer Maxime Goulet has arranged a song from The Flight of the Hummingbird for young voices and granted permission to perform it as written or with new lyrics that children create themselves. The Song of Persistence describes how Indigenous cultures around the world steward the land in face of climate change. Listen to the recordings below, and download the sheet music.

Full Score for Piano and Children’s Choir
Just the Words and Melody

Flight of the Hummingbird: Animated Video
Above: short video of Flight of the Hummingbird, based on the book and artwork by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Film by Christopher Auchter, Trickster Animation House. Narration by Lark Clark. Music by Big City Indians.

Thank you!

The Flight of the Hummingbird is made possible in part by the generosity of the following donors:

Rodolfo & Marianne Bianco
Dr. Heather F. Clarke
Lorna Court
Dr. Peter Harnetty
Martha Lou Henley, C.M.
Linda Lee Henriksen
Vicky Husband
Reet Kana
Bill & Risa Levine
Stephen & Barbara McKerrell
John McManus
Joan McNeely
George & Santi Pick
Mr. Anthony Roper
Mrs. Ronnie Tessler
Ms. Beverly Unger
Dr. Sandra Vestvik
Dr. Lydia Wingate

Hybrid Electric touring vans made possible with support from a BC Community Gaming Capital Project Grant

Students at Happy Valley Elementary School in Langford celebrate with the cast after a performance of The Flight of the Hummingbird. Photo: Jo-Ann Richards

School performances

Fully booked
January 20 to February 23, 2020: Vancouver and Lower Mainland
February 24 to March 18: Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands (Postponed as of March 13)
March 30 to April 5: Kamloops, Kelowna (Postponed)
April 6 to 12: Lower Mainland (Postponed)
April 13 to May 3: Vancouver (Postponed)

Our work takes place on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen speaking people, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
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