performers on darkened stage from 2018 Production of Lucretia

MM Student Camryn Dewar to Take Stage in ‘Li Keur: Riel’s Opera.’

Celebrating Red River Métis Heritage Through Opera

Posted in: Cali News

Cali School of Music Masters of Music Voice Performance student Camryn Dewar prepares for performances of Li Keur: Riel's Heart of the North at the Manitoba Opera on November 18, 22, and 24, 2023.

Camryn Dewar, a Master of Music student in Vocal Performance at the Cali School of Music, is poised to take the classical music world by storm with her role in the groundbreaking opera, “Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North” at the Manitoba Opera. What makes Dewar’s journey even more remarkable is the rich cultural tapestry she brings to the world of opera, a genre traditionally associated with European heritage.

Hailing from Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Dewar’s upbringing was steeped in music, instilling in her a deep passion for the art form. Her family’s musical legacy, from her father’s bagpipe melodies to her grandmother’s folk songs, ignited her love for music and set her on the path to becoming a formidable opera singer.

After earning her undergraduate degree in music from the University of Manitoba, Dewar continued her musical odyssey at the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where she focused on vocal performance. While pursuing her master’s degree, Dewar made the bold decision to postpone her studies for a year to serve as the understudy for the lead female role of Josette LaGrande in “Li Keur.” This opera delves into the story of Red River Métis leader Louis Riel and the female influences that shaped his movement.

Dewar’s heritage as a Red River Métis is central to this opera, which explores the historical and mystical aspects of the Métis culture. Her participation in “Li Keur” is a significant moment in her career, as it marks the first time she has had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on her indigenous heritage. She reflects on this experience as an awakening to the complexity and richness of her legacy.

“Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North” is not just another opera; it’s a groundbreaking production that challenges traditional norms. It provides a platform for Indigenous voices to share their culture through a unique art form. Dewar is particularly thrilled about the emphasis on the female perspective in the opera, something she finds exhilarating and empowering.

Dewar’s diverse heritage and unwavering passion for her art infuse her music with a unique and powerful resonance. Her journey exemplifies that the future of opera is evolving, becoming more harmonically rich and diverse, embracing a complex past while forging a more inclusive and vibrant future.

The Manitoba Opera’s “Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North” will be a must-see production, where Camryn Dewar’s voice will not only captivate the audience but also offer a fresh perspective on the Indigenous Métis culture, breaking down barriers and fostering understanding through the universal language of music. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the transformative power of opera and Dewar’s remarkable talent on November 18, 22, and 24, 2023.