Anchorage Opera to host American debut of ‘Missing’

“The story, although very tragic, is one ultimately of yes loss, but hope, and the spirit finding home.”
Anchorage Opera to host American debut of ‘Missing’
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 7:03 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Opera is hosting the American premiere of “Missing,” a performance about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls that first debuted to Canadian audiences in 2017.

“Missing will run for three shows Mar. 10, 11, and 12. Plus a private performance for families of victims and survivors of violence from across Alaska.

Anchorage Opera Marketing and Development Director Judy Berry said that she hopes the opera helps give a voice to women and girls surviving hardship and adversity.

Berry said that it’s part of the Anchorage Opera’s modus operandi to raise awareness about this significant issue.

“When you’re actually speaking to someone who’s gone through this, it is heartbreaking and illuminating,” Berry said. “You just feel a call to action, like you have to do something.”

With “Missing” being a Canadian-written show, the Anchorage Opera looked for a way to connect with Alaska.

They have partnered with multiple organizations to produce additional events to promote awareness and healing. Alaska Native Heritage Center, Native Movement, Data for Indigenous Justice, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Alaska Native Justice Center and Native People’s Action.

On Feb. 15, at 6 p.m., The Anchorage Museum will host “When Words Aren’t Enough.” A community conversation about MMIW in Alaska.

Each night of the opera will start with performances by dancers from the Alaska Native Heritage Center. After the shows, there will be traditional talking circles to promote healing.

“In order to really put an Alaska face on this production, that we would call out to Alaska Native artists to submit their artwork,” Berry said. “The projection, part of the set, has screens so the artwork can be — not just the Alaska Native art, but other projections, are a part of the opera.”

The art of opera uses an old art form to connect with the community.

According to Berry, opera adds a “human voice” to an emotional story about grief, loss, and hope. To honor Alaskan victims and survivors, opera staff wanted to highlight Alaska’s story of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The artwork will be featured in the opera performance set and other celebratory events in March.