Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path was jazz opera with libretto by Nova Scotia’s very own George Elliott Clarke and music by D.D. Jackson, which makes an irreverent, jubilant portrait of the life and politics of one of Canada’s most controversial political heroes, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Presented between June 16th and 20th, 2010 in the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax, the cast consisted of five singers, three men and two women, some playing multiple roles in order to represent many of the key characters that Trudeau meets in his fictionalized life-journey, among them Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Oscar Peterson (Or Roscoe Robertson here), Margaret Trudeau, and two composite fictional characters, flautist and poet Yu Xuanji and reporter Simone Cixous.
The music utilizes a flexible ensemble of three musicians, with each player assuming a range of musical roles. The intent is to provide fresh settings for the world-wandering Trudeau with the requisite exoticism and variety. The result is a fresh and exciting mix of Cuban, Chinese, and contemporary classical themes fused with jazz and improvisational elements interwoven into the predominantly notated musical textures.
“It’s an opera that treats Trudeau as a kind of Odysseus figure.” – Globe & Mail, Read More
“Opera shines a light on Trudeau” Read More
“Trudeau is billed as a jazz opera, but Jackson says that DD Jackson has infused it with many types of music. “The score really has something for everyone. There’s jazz, big band and classical and it definitely incorporates harmony and rhythms from other cultures. There’s even some rock and roll.” – The Coast, Read More