Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.

Two Odysseys

“In aboriginal mythology, there is no heaven and there is no hell. You cross a kind of a River Styx and you go into this region of the human consciousness … you don’t go away.”

Tomson Highway, Librettist, Pimooteewin

Two Odysseys is a joyous celebration of Indigenous language and storytelling. It’s a double-bill of two music dramas: Pimooteewin, The Journey, a setting of an ancient Cree story from North America, sung and narrated in the Woodland Cree dialect; and Gállábártnit, The Bear, a setting of an ancient Sámi story from the Nordic countries, sung and narrated in Northern Sámi.

Bear Mask, Pimooteewin
Two Odysseys, Pimooteewin. Taken from still of video by Blake Hannahson.

The two works are scored for similar forces: narrator, 2 vocal soloists, 3 actors/dancers, chamber choir and chamber orchestra. The cast is drawn from Indigenous artists of diverse heritages, and non-Indigenous artists, all coming together from Canada, Norway, and Finland.

The works are inspired by the human journey through life and death, but as with all Indigenous stories, themes of love, friendship, betrayal, and courage intertwine and defy genre.

Co-director Michael Greyeyes
Co-director Michael Greyeyes in rehearsal for Two Odysseys. Still taken by a video by Blake Hannahson.

Creative Team and Featured Artists

Michael Greyeyes, Cole Alvis, co-directors
Melissa Hui, Britta Byström, composers
Tomson Highway, Rawdna Carita Eira, librettists
David Fallis, musical director
Yolanda Bonnel, Heli Huovinen, narrators
Melody Courage, Asitha Tennekoon, Bud Roach, vocal soloists
Samantha Brown, Vienna Hehir, actors/dancers
Choir 21
Chamber Orchestra


Narrators (2)
Vocal Ensemble (14)
Actors/Dancers (3)
Chamber Ensemble (7)


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