Creative Vision

In 2013, when he accepted the position of NAC Music Director, British-born Alexander Shelley immersed himself in Canadian arts and culture and soon discovered the rich tapestry of stories and incredible artists this country has to offer. He chose to celebrate the stories of four fascinating women through this innovative live performance: Alice Munro; Amanda Todd; Roberta Bondar; and Rita Joe. 

“What inspired me was looking at these four women who have found their voices, through different sacrifices and challenges,” said National Arts Centre Music Director Alexander Shelley. “Canada is a country whose stories have captivated audiences worldwide. And it got me thinking... these are beautiful human stories, how can we share these stories in a new way.” 

Shelley brought together four of Canada’s best composers to collaborate with Creative Producer and Director Donna Feore and an ensemble of extraordinary performers and multi-media artists to create a unique symphonic experience.

“This stemmed from my desire to create an alternative context for new music in the symphony hall, and with a symphony orchestra,” said Shelley. “My basic wish was to create a collaborative immersive show that would have no interval. Where it’s an experience from the moment you go in to the moment you leave,” he added.

“The idea was that we would bring artists together, artists at the top of their game, that were truly excited to do something new and innovative,” says Donna Feore.

A key technical and creative partner in this project is a visual design company from Montreal Normal, who have designed and created screens that surround the Orchestra and immerse the audience in a virtual 3D environment. Photography, graphic design and film are interchangeably projected on these screens in synergy with the musical works.