Monday 21 June 2021

Rush: Pegasus Opera debuts a new anthem for Lambeth Windrush Day 2021

Pegasus Opera Community Choir
Pegasus Opera Community Choir

As part of the Lambeth Windrush Day 2021 celebrations, Pegasus Opera is premiering a new Lambeth Windrush Anthem sung by the company's community choir. The performance debut's on Pegasus Opera's YouTube channel at 2pm on Tuesday 22 June 2021.

The new anthem, Rush, was written for the choir by composer Des Oliver. Oliver studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and was recently appointed as Jerwood Composer-in-Residence at the London Symphony Orchestra. Oliver says of creating the song, 'What struck me most about the conversation with the Pegasus Community Choir is the dichotomy that lies at the heart of Windrush between the unrelenting sense of hopefulness, triumph and positivity, against a history of struggle grounded in racism. Focus only on the former and we risk romanticising the story in away that does not do justice to their achievements, focus on the latter and we risk presenting this history (and ourselves) always and only within the context of racism.

And so both of these aspects needed to be represented in the music/lyrics—it does give rise to a slightly humorous irony, "here are my dreams and ambitions and this is the reality", but that humour too, is part of our identity!

Looking further ahead,  Pegasus Opera is working in collaboration with the Royal Opera House to produce its first live performance of 2021, a celebration of Black female composers entitled Mami Wata on 16 and 17 July 2021 at the Linbury Theatre. Further information from the Royal Opera House website.

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