Thursday, 8 March 2018

Resonance at Opera North

Nwando Ebizie as Lady Vendredi
Nwando Ebizie as Lady Vendredi
Four young artists are taking part in Resonance, a new residency programme created by Opera North, with support from PRS Foundation’s Talent Development Partner Network, for artists from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Resonance will also be supporting a new opera from Brolley Productions.

Thandanani Gumede
Thandanani Gumede
Nwando Ebizie, Thandanani Gumede, Moji Kareem and Christella Litras, will each receive rehearsal space for a week at Opera North to develop their proposal, a grant of up to £3,000, technical and artistic support, and the opportunity to perform their works in progress for an invited audience.

Afrofuturist artist Nwando Ebizie will work on the creation of an immersive opera inspired by the visions of the medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Her score for live vocals, turntables, electronics and projection mapping will reimagine Hildegard’s visions in the context of contemporary knowledge about neurological conditions, and Nwando’s long-standing interest in ritualistic performance.

Founder of the music and dance group Zulu Tradition, Thandanani Gumede plans to create a new song cycle fusing jazz, gospel and traditional Zulu music, and exploring themes of migration, home, inner conflict and peace.

Moji Kareem
Moji Kareem
Founder of Utopia Theatre Company, director Moji Kareem will develop a new live performance and multimedia opera retelling the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin in the light of the disappearance of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria. Incorporating the testimonies of the schoolgirls who escaped their Boko Haram captors, and combining traditional West African and European instruments, the piece will be a bold attempt to bring together very different traditions.

Singer-songwriter, producer and composer Christella Litras is the founder of Caution! Collective, which develops and showcases the talent of young singers in Leeds and the surrounding area. Christella will develop her soundtrack for the sequel to Alain Bidard’s dazzling, inventive 2015 sci-fi film Battledream Chronicle – the first animated feature film from the Caribbean island of Martinique.

A fifth project, Brolly Productions’ opera The Powder Monkey, will also benefit from a residency as part of the Resonance programme. Set aboard a slave ship, the production uses traditional music from West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the North of England and creole work songs to tell the hidden stories of enslaved people, lascars and cotton workers in live performance and animation. Composer Errollyn Wallen, designer and illustrator Rachana Jadhav and writer-director Dominic Hingorani have based the work on artefacts and records in the Atlantic Gallery at the National Maritime Museum.

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