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Canonchet Opera, In honor of the 300th Anniversary of the Town of South Kingstown

October 29, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Opera on The Great Swamp Massacre

URI Canonchet Concert featuring music and poetry by Geoffrey Gibbs, will be given Sunday, October 29th at 7:00 pm. The concert will be held at the URI Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston RI.

This event is free and open to the public, but Dr. Gibbs would happily accept donations to support the Sona Aronian and Geoffrey Gibbs Scholarship in Composition.

The featured musicians are Yohji Daquio (soprano), Ethan Bremner, (tenor), René de la Garzs (baritone), Alexey Shabalin (violin), Ceili O’Connor (guitar), and Philip Martorella (piano). The works featured are “Silcock’s Mohawk Songs”, “Three Portentous Songs” (dedicated to the victims of the fires and floods that have plagued the Earth this year), and three scenes from an opera “Canonchet” inspired by the research of the URI retired professor, Richard Vangermeersch.  Canonchet was the 17th century renowned chief of the Narragansett Indigenous Nation.

Silcock is a Mohawk maiden who was Geoffrey Gibbs’s great-great-great grandmother. She lived at the time of the American revolution. The Narragansett Nation which had retreated from their village to a fort in the Great Swamp was massacred by Colonial troops in 1675. The fort was burned to the ground. The opera is about this event and the killing of Canonchet.

Geoffrey Gibbs and René de la Garza are both retired URI professors. Gibbs has put on URI concerts of his music almost every year since 1965. René de la Garza has been featured in three of Gibbs’ operas.

For more information on the concert, please contact Dr. Geoffrey Gibbs— geoffgibbs@uri.edu.


SK 300th Steering Committee
University of Rhode Island


URI Fine Arts Center
105 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881 United States
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