Flight of the Hummingbird

“The opera will introduce young people to one of BC’s outstanding artists and one of Canada’s most exciting contemporary composers; help them discover how art can combine ancient roots and contemporary forms to tell stories in new ways; enrich their exploration of environmental issues and civic engagement; and encourage them to rejoice in the diversity of the people, cultures, and art in our province.”
Pacific Opera Victoria

Flight of the Hummingbird is an opera for young audiences, written and designed by internationally acclaimed Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, whose works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The opera is based on Yahgulanaas’ bestselling book, Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment, which helps children learn about environmental issues and moral courage. The libretto is co-written by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Barry Gilson and the dramaturgy is by Glynis Leyshon.

The fable of the hummingbird originates with the Quechuan people of South America. In the story, a forest fire rages, and all the animals are overwhelmed by fear and a sense of futility. Only Dukdukdiya, the hummingbird, refuses to give up. She flies to the stream, picks up a single drop of water in her beak, and drops it on the fire. Over and over, back and forth she flies. When the bear finally asks what she is doing, she replies, I am doing what I can. The parable of eloquently expresses the power of taking small steps to achieve a big goal.

Duration: 45 minutes

Commissioned by the Vancouver Opera and the Pacific Opera Victoria.

Premiere: Date to be announced soon.

More information:
–  The Vancouver Opera describes Flight of the Hummingbird
–  The Pacific Opera Victoria describes Flight of the Hummingbird

Performances of Flight of the Hummingbird

2020, Dates to be announced | Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria | Tour of 60 concerts across the province of BC, Canada (premiere)

2019, May 4 | Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria | The Annex, Vancouver, BC, Canada (pre-premiere public workshop)

2018, Dec. 1 | Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria | Baumann Center, BC, Canada (pre-premiere public workshop)