Obeah Opera is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, spirit-lifting, magical musical sensation. Steeped in Black music, sung entirely a cappella by a powerful, diverse all-female cast, Obeah Opera is a retelling of the legendary Salem witch trials from the fascinating perspective of Caribbean slave women who also lived in the town.
The cast of 20 acts as both orchestra and musical leads, uniquely boasting the heritage of African Canadian Caribbean immigrants telling the tale of slavery from a different vantage point. It redefines the opera form by moving away from its European classical standard and implementing an array of different musical genres mostly found in Black music, such as spirituals, jazz, gospel and traditional African and Caribbean folk.
Founded by Nicole Brooks, Asah Productions is a multi-disciplinary company that creates, develops and produces work across the artistic spectrum, including film and television production, musical theatre and opera.
The National Creation Fund’s investment of $195,000 will support the addition of dramaturgy and a workshop to refine the script and score, extensive workshops with the choreographer and cast to create dance elements, and a technical residency and workshop time to incorporate the new material into the final production.
Commissioned and presented by Luminato.
Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Soulpepper Theatre Company, Harbourfront Centre, Fall for Dance North Festival and Renette & David Berman. Developed with support from the NAC’s National Creation Fund.
June 13 to 22, 2019: Fleck Dance Theatre (Toronto), presented by Luminato