Dr. Réa Beaumont Deciphers Harry Somers' Opera "Louis Riel"

March 13, 2017 | TPL Staff

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Louis Riel – a politician, founder of the province of Manitoba and political leader of the Métis people in western Canada – has remained a compelling and controversial figure ever since he was hanged for treason in Regina in 1885 after leading the North-West Rebellion (also known as the "Riel Rebellion") against the Canadian government. 

In addition to hundreds of historical and scholarly works, Riel's life story has inspired many works of art, including a graphic novel by Chester Brown, a 1979 CBC-TV movie (and soundtrack album), many paintings and an opera, composed by Harry Somers on the occasion of Canada's centennial in 1967. The opera will be staged by the Canadian Opera Company beginning April 20th.

Louis Riel

Louis Riel movie

Riel soundtrack

If you're planning on attending the Canadian Opera Company's production of "Louis Riel," or would like to learn more about this fascinating and divisive figure whose presence looms large in Canadian history to this day, join us at the Toronto Reference Library on Monday, March 20th for a presentation by Dr. Réa Beaumont, a Canadian music expert, concert pianist and guest instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Dr. Beaumont will examine Louis Riel's important but controversial place in Canadian history, explain why this opera is one of Canada's most celebrated compositions, and help audience members gain a better understanding of composer Harry Somers' complex music. Program details:

Rea Beaumont

Dr. Réa Beaumont Deciphers Harry Somers' Opera "Louis Riel"

Monday, March 20th

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hinton Learning Centre - 3rd Floor, Toronto Reference Library

789 Yonge St.


Drop in - no registration required.

Louis Riel opera