Manitoba Opera


Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North explores a little-known chapter in Louis Riel’s life (early 1870s) and focuses on the beauty and love of the homeland and of its people – the heart of the north, with a focus on the central role of women in the cultural and economic history of this nation of nations.

The Métis peoples’ past, present, and future are reimagined in this 21st century work dedicated to reconciliation as the artists honour all sides of the ancestral blanket.

This new work of music and theatre is written and conceptualized by Métis poet/librettist Dr. Suzanne Steele (Gaudry/Fayant), with music by Métis composer/fiddler Alex Kusturok and composer Neil Weisensel.

A cross-cultural collaboration, this work is for orchestra, soloists, and choruses, and will be sung and spoken in Heritage-Michif, French-Michif, Anishinaabemowin, French, and English. It also features traditional and contemporary Métis music and dance.

Li Keur – “the heart” in Michif – places Métis and all Indigenous women at the heart of this story as it celebrates the multi-faceted roles they have played, and continue to play, in the making of a nation.

Underwritten by




Librettist/Storyteller Suzanne M. Steele

Composer/Fiddler Alex Kusturok

Composer Neil Weisensel

Director Simon Miron