"My country's bloody history and the play Blood Wedding by Fredrico Garcia Lorca were my major sources of inspiration," says Rassoul Labuchin as he explains how Le Mariage Linglinsou evolved. He wrote the libretto for the first Haitian opera, premiering on June 24th. "It is a love story about a mother who loses her son to Haiti's bloody violence. What it is about is made extremely clear to the audience in the prologue. Blood flows and gushes, causing many to lose faith in peace and a better future for their country."
Opera in Haiti is not as strange as it may seem, Labuchin explains. "In the eighteenth century, classical music was very popular and beautiful concert halls were built. We hope to rekindle this tradition with Le Mariage Linglinsou. We want to make it clear to people that hunger, poverty, violence and misery can never take away our love of art and literature. This holds true everywhere, in every era. Despite the difficult living conditions and the large number of illiterates on Haiti, the island's cultural life is blossoming."
Rassoul Labuchin is well-known in Haiti. He wrote numerous film scenarios, and the film Anita, from 1980, is still aired on Haitian television twice a week. The film forced him into exile for many years. Since President Aristide took office, he has been able to return many times, and was even Mayor of Port-au-Prince for a few years. In the island's bankrupt capital he stimulated artistic activities, including the erection of a large mural around the central cemetery.
Labuchin believes that Haitians are proud of their past. "Our country's turbulent past has always been an important source of inspiration for many authors. Artists use it to give the history of their country back to the people." Labuchin also considers his opera to be a contribution to Haitian history. "Le Mariage Linglinsou is an epic work and is part of the poetic language tradition of our country that is rooted in oral tradition."
Le Mariage Linglinsou was 100% financed by the DOEN Foundation.