The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk
Opera Documentary Film

Shooting on-location May 13-24, 2019
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation
The First and Only Canadian Opera on Film

Five years after its world premiere live stage production, The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk becomes the first and only Canadian opera to be made as a full-length film.

From 2012-2014, Astrolabe Musik Theatre, Turning Point Ensemble and Westbank First Nation (WFN) co-created an opera entitled The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk which integrated BC composer Barbara Pentland’s historic 1952 opera The Lake with original songs, dances and dramatic scenes created by, and in collaboration with, WFN artists and community members, and a commissioned new work by BC composer Leslie Uyeda. Three live performances took place on an outdoor stage at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery (West Kelowna) in August 2014.

Now The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk will be the first and only Canadian opera on film. Greatly expanding the scope and reach of the 2014 live production, The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk Opera Documentary Film incorporates segments about the ongoing collaboration between Astrolabe and WFN, featuring interviews and reflections on the opera and its creative process with key artists and collaborators in both nsyilxcən and English. The live stage production will not be recreated (ie. not performed on a stage with a live orchestra), but shot as a film on location at Quails’ Gate Winery (West Kelowna) in the original Allison homestead cabin and outdoor sites overlooking Lake Okanagan, and in Westbank First Nation, May 13-24, 2019. Astrolabe is proud to be working with director John Bolton of Opus 59 Films in bringing this important story to the screen.

Giving prominent voice to women composers and creators, and reflecting on-screen a more accurate representation of contemporary BC society, The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk Opera Documentary Film illuminates a respectful and joyful collaboration and recreates this significant story on the very site where its 145-year old events occurred, and where its 21st century conversation is just beginning.


BC Arts Council
Deux Mille Foundation
Westbank First Nation
Westbank First Nation
British Columbia
Hamber Foundation
Hamber Foundation
Hamber Foundation
Ambache Charitable Trust
Quail's Gate
Canadian Music Centre
Turning Point Ensemble
Turning Point Ensemble