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New Music Festival: Olivia Shortt
2023 New Music Festival

Olivia Shortt

The Museum of the Lost and Found: gaakaazootaadiwag
April 08, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Music Department season. This is an archived view.

A multi-disciplinary opera on museum theft and repatriation.

22/23 Music Department

The Museum of the Lost and Found: gaakaazootaadiwag is a site-specific, multi-disciplinary, work-in-development thesis project. The opera's narrative is an allegory about the issues and problems with museums and their processes of repatriation, specifically of stolen items and bodies from Indigenous communities. The story focuses on a fictional Museum whose exhibits feature items collected from Lost and Found boxes found all over the globe and the characters that inhabit that space, including our tour guide, a tour attendee, our docents (keeping the audience in check), the audience (who are a part of the tour), two chorus members (Echo and Memory), Nina Boujee (our trickster character who we meet first) as well as the band who have been trapped in the museum for as long as they can remember.

The audience will be led from the atrium and be invited to engage in the world built by the characters that they meet as part of their tour of the museum. They will be guided to the upper galleries and the tour will end in the Hood Museum's Gilman Auditorium where the chaos of everything will take over with projections, lighting and electronics.

The New Music Festival is a co-production of the Music Department and the Hopkins Center for the Arts, with support from The Leonard J. Reade 1917 Institute for American Music Fund, The Leslie Center for the Humanities, and a gift to the Don Glasgo Fund in memory of Alan Gottesman '13 and Friends of the Coast Jazz Orchestra.

(They/Them, Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation, settler ancestry, Canadian & Irish) Olivia Shortt is a noisemaker, video artist, curator and troublemaker. Shortt's work is greatly inspired by their love of camp, drag and gender expression and its relation to Indigeneity. Highlights include Shortt's world premiere performance (Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC) of For Olivia Shortt by Pulitzer Prize composer Raven Chacon, written for Shortt as part of Chacon's series For Zitkala-Ša (2022 Whitney Biennial); Shortt's film debut in Atom Egoyan's 2019 film Guest of Honour; and recording an album two kilometres underground in the SnoLAB (Neutrino Lab in Sudbury, Canada). Works created over the last two years include commissions for Long Beach Opera (California), the JACK Quartet (NYC) and Din of Shadows (Toronto). Shortt was one of the 2020 Buddies in Bad Times' Emerging Queer Artists & is featured in the 2020 Winter edition of Musicworks Magazine. Shortt's favourite review of themselves comes from a four-year-old child who said, "I don't know why I like it," regarding one of Shortt's performances.

Olivia Shortt - Nina Boujee / Composer / Librettist / Co-Direcotor / Costumes / Props/  Video / Producer

Olivier Zerouali - Tour Attendee (Li)
Eli Berman - Chorus (Memory)
Charles Peoples III - Chorus (Echo)
Joy Guidry - Bassoon
Mac Waters - Viola
Mali Obomsawin - Double Bass
Nikki Joshi - Percussion

Piper Hill - Co-Director
Raegan Padula - Stage Manager
Samita Sinha, Julia Havard - Outside Eye
Armond Dorsey - Dramaturg
Bethany Padron - Costume Mentorship
Anna Winter - Costume Assistance
Rodrigo Martínez Torres - Recording Engineer
Antônio Jorge Medeiros Batista Silva, Trinity Harlan, Madeleine Stewart, Nizhonie Denetsosie-Gomez, Eliza Burke Erdrich, Abigail Burgess - Docents & recorded voices
Sarah Friday, McIntosh Bazile - Drivers

The development of The Museum of the Lost and Found: gaakaazootaadiwag received funding from OPERA America's IDEA Opera Grants program, supported by the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation. Additional Dartmouth funders and supporters include Art History, Studio Art, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Digital Humanities, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Edward M Scheu Jr and Molly Scheu Fund, Hood Museum, Black Sound Lab, The Hopkins Center's Lazarus Fund, and The Leslie Center for the Humanities.

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Hood Museum of Art
6 E Wheelock St,
Hanover, NH 03755

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