Ian Cusson is a Métis and French-Canadian composer of art song, opera, and orchestral work. His work explores the Canadian Indigenous experience, including the history of the Métis people, the hybridity of mixed-racial identity, and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures. He is the inaugural artist of the COC’s newly developed Composer-in-Residence program, with a residency at the COC Academy that officially began on August 19, 2019.
As part of Cusson’s composer residency, the COC has commissioned a new work with award-winning Canadian playwright and librettist Colleen Murphy. The opera, to be performed in a future season, is being developed with families and young people in mind. While further details will be released at a later date, the pair says that audiences can expect “a spine-tingling quest” that weaves mythical elements into a contemporary urban setting.
“The COC’s commitment to the development of new and diverse voices in the opera world speaks to their ongoing leadership in the opera community,” says Cusson. “For me, as a Métis person, this opportunity tells of the hope, resilience and long tradition of excellence in art-making of Indigenous peoples of this land, our ability to transcend borders and traditions, and our commitment to partner with forward-thinking institutions in the creation of powerful and transformative art.”