Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Knife of Dawn

Hannah Kendall
Hannah Kendall
The Knife of Dawn, an opera based on the life of the Guyanese poet and political activist Martin Carter, is being premiered a the Roundhouse on 6 October 2016. With music by Hannah Kendall, and libretto by Tessa McWatt, the opera features American baritone Eric Greene with Juice Vocals as the chorus and an ensemble of harp, violin, viola and cello. The performance will be conducted by Rebecca Miller with John Walton directing.

The opera is being presented on National Poetry Day, as part of Black History Month, and McWatt's libretto features five of Carter's poems, 'In a Great Silence', 'Listening to the Land', 'This is the Dark Time My Love', 'The Knife of Dawn', and 'Not Hands Like Mine' which come from his collection Poems of Resistance from British Guiana, published shortly after his being released from prison for the first time whilst fighting for independence for British Guyana.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance will be running workshops for secondary school students in Lambeth and Lewisham to address the cultural, political and social issues that the opera raises and which Kendall hopes will encourage young people to challenge the concept of opera. Participants will see the opera in a free performance especially for young people, also on 6 October, before composing and performing their own collaborative musical response.

Further information from the Roundhouse website. Note that the website lists the performance as sold out, so we will have to hope that further performances are going to be scheduled.

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