All NAC performances and events cancelled until Monday April 27, 2020

Obeah Opera

Asah Productions Toronto
  • Conceived, Written and Composed by Nicole Brooks

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.

© Racheal McCaig
© Racheal McCaig
© Racheal McCaig
© Racheal McCaig
© Racheal McCaig


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.

Creative team

  • Conceived, Written and Composed by Nicole Brooks
  • Director Lezlie Wade
  • Co-Director and Choreographer Anthony “Prime” Guerra
  • Music Director Melanie DeMore
  • Lighting Design Bonnie Beecher
  • Set and Costume Design Robin Fisher
  • Dramaturg djanet sears
  • Produced by Asah Productions

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $195,000 supported 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 additional 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.

Recent updates

July 15, 2019

The first woman accused of witchcraft in Salem was an enslaved Caribbean. This opera tells her story

By: Lucius Dechausay You may have seen Obeah Opera's world premiere at Luminato a few weeks ago, but if you know about its decade long journey to get to that stage, you may think creator and composer Nicole Brooks conjured up some Black girl magic. "It's taken ten years to really... Read more

June 17, 2019

Luminato brings a new version of the a cappella telling of the Salem Witch trials to Toronto

By: Wayne Leung  Obeah Opera tells the story of the Salem witch trials from the perspective of the first woman accused: a Caribbean slave named Tituba. Sung through entirely a cappella, the latest incarnation of this surprisingly vibrant and uplifting show is currently presented... Read more

June 5, 2019

Illuminating Thoughts: Nicole Brooks on Obeah Opera

Ten years ago she was told it could never be done — it was too big, too unconventional, too diverse, too much about women — now, artist Nicole Brooks is reveling in the success of her creation, Obeah Opera.  By: Nicole Brooks Revolutionary creator Nicole Brooks shares her... Read more

full timelime ›

Performance dates

Previous Performances

June 13 to 22, 2019: Fleck Dance Theatre (Toronto), presented by Luminato

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