Culture is the essence, it defines any civilised society or individualPhoto Waip Diop

Links

The Sahel OperaProject

website with basic information about the project, and some images

The Sahel Opera’s artistic team gets to work

The Power of Culture, january 2006

Team of composers selected for the Sahel Opera

The Power of Culture, august 2005

speaker
Some music

Listen to preliminary recordings of the four composers (.mp3 files)

Góo Ba: PullOpera
Tunde Jegede: Sundiata
Nawal Mlanao: Water of the desert
Ze Manel: The Forced Marriage

image

Góo Ba and Nawal Mlanao, two of the composers involved in the opera

 

Culture is not a luxury?

“I can understand why people may say that culture is a luxury, but it is so much more than that. It is part of your being. You carry it with you throughout your entire life and it takes you to places.
Throughout my whole life I have come into contact with other people and cultures through art. You can hardly overestimate the value of that.

Take the Sahel Opera, for example, it will have a huge impact and, in fact, it already The Sahel Opera is the first project that I am involved in, and know of, in which various African countries work together on one artistic product. has. It is the first project that I am involved in, and know of, in which various African countries work together on one artistic product. This renders many new contacts which has a very positive effect. It unites artistic people who were hardly aware of each other’s existence before. Art is a way of bringing people together.

A complex production

For this project we bring people together from Senegal, Mali, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and other Sahel countries. Everyone sings in their own language. The music is written by four different composers which went fairly smoothly. In December we sat down together for a few days and since then everyone has handed in their share. The Opera is basically finished.

I specifically want to perform African music, but I want to avoid meeting the expectations and stereotypes too much. For example, I don’t want to work with the kora or the balaphone, but with other traditional instruments that are less well-known.”

The opening performance of the Sahel Opera will be in Mali in November and it will be performed in the Netherlands in December.