Canadian Opera Company to Celebrate World Water Day with Digital Debut of ‘noondaadiwag’

By Logan Martell

On March 22, 2023, Canadian Opera Company will celebrate World Water Day with the debut of “noondaadiwag,” a digital concert recording from Anishinaabe-Irish artist Olivia Shortt.

The concert features Canadian soprano Alexandra Smither and the musical duo Orbit, comprised of Aliayta Foon-Dancoes and Isidora Nojkovic. The program includes new works written for voice, strings, and saxophone, and employs a background audio track under the live performance to occasionally obscure what is being heard. One highlight is the work “bagaskaadagaazii,” commissioned by Orbit in 202, which speaks to the clean water crisis and lack of water on reserves.

“This concert tackles a variety of themes and ideas that I’ve been thinking about over the last few years, specifically during the pandemic,” says Shortt. “The program explores the idea of collaboration and also the relationships I have with other artists, as an artist myself. For me, continuing this conversation is really important. Clean drinking water is a basic thing that everyone should be able to access, regardless of where you live in this country.”

The recording will be available at COC’s website through their Free Digital Membership.