A Conversation with Marion Newman

Appearing in the title role of the 2020 Dora Award-winning new opera, Shanawdithit, Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations, English, Irish and Scottish mezzo-soprano Marion Newman stunned and electrified Toronto audiences with a performance of enormous strength and matchless sensitivity. Classically trained, the much loved Indigenous-committed singer actor spoke with Opera Going Toronto by phone in an extended 60-minute Q & A following the virtual award presentation ceremony late last week.

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Firstly, congratulations on the Dora. Shanawdithit is by no means the first Indigenous-based role you’ve sung but it’s one that I know is very close to your heart. What is it about this piece that makes it so special for you as an artist?

Well, I was involved right from the beginning of the workshop process. Yvette Nolan was writing the libretto, someone I had worked with before and greatly admire. (Giiwedin, Native …

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