Toronto are you ready for Obeah Opera? We are very excited about this musical! Not only because of the remarkable people behind the show, but we just LOVE that a story on OBEAH is being presented on the stage in this manner. It’s not because we have a particular fascination or obsession with Obeah, but because it challenges our perceptions on a cultural and spiritual practice that has been shrouded in fear. We love that the musical by its very name, is guaranteed to unsettle our cultural sensibilities and force us to ask questions!
Obeah Opera is written by playwright/filmmaker, singer, teacher, community activist and producer Nicole Brooks (music, book librettist) and directed by celebrated poet and stage director ahdri zhina mandiela. The play being presented as part of Black History Month celebrations and is produced by b current Performing Arts and Theatre Archipelago.
The Traveling Black Chicks got a sneak peek behind the scenes and journeyed with Calypso Queen Macomere Fifi (Eulith Tara Woods) who plays the role of The Elder in the play. Based on what we’ve seen and heard so far we are quite excited about the production and look forward to taking it in on opening night on Wednesday 22nd!
If you can ignore our interviewer’s ‘unique’ hair and fashion-do (or don’t) then enjoy our journey with Macomere Fifi below…
Obeah Opera Director ahdri zhina mandiela explains further:
“The remnant of a once powerful and celebrated
religious Order lost in time…
transplanted from West Africa to the Caribbean along with stolen natives…
…The music is the spine of Obeah Opera, a serious journey through the centuries, mixing traditions of jazz, blues, and spirituals from a myriad of black cultural rites. And though the most salient and recognizable elements in Obeah Opera are the variety of black cultural music and the church references, a certain reclaiming and understanding of the power of obeah and women’s lives in women’s hands is what’s central. This is what I try to see clear into for the production; paying attention to the doors which will give audience entry, especially folks who come with baggage or preconceived notions of obeah.”
GO SEE Obeah Opera!