Stage Door News

Toronto: “Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gallabartnit” – one opera in Cree, one in Sámi – run November 13-17

Friday, October 18, 2019

Artists and staff alike are buzzing at the thought that in less than a month, Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gallabartnit will be hitting the stage.

This is more than an opera – it’s a monumental event that has been years in the making, a reflection of the here and now of Canadian art.

Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney speaks to the history of this special project:

When we premiered Pimooteewin: The Journey in 2008, Michael Greyeyes and I had no idea it was the beginning of a real journey. It did tour to Northern Ontario soon after, but some colleagues in Norway and Sweden were so inspired by it that they wanted to create a companion work rooted in Sámi language and storytelling, an answer to the questions posed in Pimooteewin. Even before its premiere, Two Odysseys is already beginning to resonate with interest in North America, Europe and Australia. That journey has just begun! 

A creative team led by Indigenous artists comes together to present a double-bill of the world’s first operas in the languages of Cree and Sámi, complete with 2 narrators, soprano and tenor soloists, 3 actors/dancers, and a vocal and chamber instrument ensemble. Step into a world of cross-cultural odysseys and examine how we live on earth, how we pass to the land of the dead, and the consequences of love and sacrifice.


Michael Greyeyes, Cole Alvis, co-directors
Melissa Hui, Britta Byström, composers
Tomson Highway, Rawdna Carita Eira, librettists
David Fallis, musical director
Yolanda Bonnell, Heli Huovinen, narrators
Melody Courage, Asitha Tennekoon, Bud Roach, vocal soloists
Choir 21
Chamber Orchestra

Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gallabartnit 

November 13-17, 2019

Daniels Spectrum, Ada Slaight Hall

585 Dundas Street East 

Tickets at 416-408-0208 or