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In Benediction, Madison explores themes and intersections of queer identity, giving thanks, and ritual.

“My artistic practice has largely been in opera in the most traditional sense. Over the past year I have been working in video to combine art song with this digital medium and craft new narratives.”

“I think that being queer can feel kind of all-encompassing – so magical and [full of] community building. Those ideas can be seen in religion, as well. To mirror this queer, religious, intersecting idea that I had, I realized that I wanted to use religious music in this project. I also pulled religious visuals. Not a baptism, but a cleansing, a ritual, a prayer, a meditation.”

“I have titled the piece Benediction – to give thanks. I’m just so thankful that I’m at this place where I feel so good about who I am. I have been feeling less and less authentically feminine and so seeing myself with no makeup and my short hair, and giving myself permission to look more and more masculine, especially within my art and within opera, was really important to me.”

Madison Craig is a soprano and creative who makes their home on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Madison’s artistic upbringing is rooted in classical music and opera, through which she cultivated her deep love of art song. Her current practice seeks to utilize art song to create narratives in the digital space – combining video and song to challenge the conventions of the Traditional Recital™. Particularly passionate about queer perspectives, Madison recently self-produced PRIDE; an IGTV recital by and for LGBTQ+ artists, based on the colours of Gilbert Baker’s 1978 flag. Madison holds degrees from the University of British Columbia (MMus) and the University of Lethbridge (BMus), and is a recipient of awards from organizations such as the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals’ National Music Festival and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Thank you to Madison for sharing their project and artistic voice. You can find more of Madison on Instagram and Twitter, as well as by visiting her website.

The Artist Statement Project was created as a part of AtG and University of Toronto’s National Opera Intensive program in August 2021. To explore more projects by participating artists, click here. To learn more about the National Opera Intensive, click here.