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Opera Performance in Africa Blends Rap, Poetry, Traditional Story-Telling, and Classical Music


The opera is called Là-bas ou Ici - meaning "There or Here."

A group of performers in Africa have joined forces to create a new opera after a chance meeting in Berlin brought them together, BBC reports.

The performance will blend rap, West African traditions and classical music, and features Japanese composer Keiko Fujiie along with Maboudou Sanou, a Burkinabè griot (traditional story-teller and musician).

The premiere for the opera's first act is less than a week away, and the group has been rehearsing every day of the past month in the modest concrete house where award-winning classical composer Fujiie lives with Sanou and his family on the outskirts of Ouagadougou.

The opera is called Là-bas ou Ici - meaning "There or Here." Exiled poet and rapper Moyi Mbourangon from Congo-Brazzaville wrote the words, a family of Burkinabè griots interpret the music. A French artist-turned-videographer from Berlin also is part of the group.

The story is based on a novel in progress by Mbourangon - who performs under the rap alias Martial Pa'nucci.

Burkinabè architect Francis Keré is set to build an opera house in his home country, where the Fujiie's ensemble also hopes to stage There or Here.

"When you are inspired, you improvise, you make something, and when you listen you are surprised," Sanou said.

Read more on BBC.

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