Sunday 9 November 2003 (2004 as Revival!)
Co-production with ROH2 at the Royal Opera House
Linbury Studio Theatre
"It was a day, many felt, that presaged change… on Sunday the Royal Opera House was crammed with visitors, almost all black, almost all experiencing Covent Garden for the first time."
Three fully staged 20 minute operas:
Another America: Earth - Errollyn Wallen
Bird Of Night – Dominique Le Gendre
Grazyna, The Triumph of the Queen – Clement Ishmael, words Mel Cooper
On November 9th 2003 the Royal Opera House resounded to a new tune: nine fresh operatic commissions from nine of Britain’s most exciting Black composers. The word of opera has produced few Black composers, A Nitro at the Opera was a giant step to address this.
The composers that took part were successful and established from a variety of musical fields. For many, it was their first opportunity to write for and explore the possibilities of the classically trained voice.
Talks were held throughout the awe inspiring building, discussing issues that faced opera in 2003 – including the diversity issues hosted by writer and broadcaster Gabriel Gbadamosi. The day was open to children, with family workshops and all members of the audience were welcome to join in and sing extracts from the first Black opera, Treemonisha by Scott Joplin.
Like all NITRObeat festivals, the day was free and audiences picked and mixed their way through the day, seeing whatever took their fancy.
Hosted by the ‘Don of Black Comedy’ Curtis Walker.
Conductor: Yuval Zorn
Director: Bill Bankes-Jones
Designer: Tim Meacock
Lighting Designer: Mark Doubleday
In The Crush Room: Performances of six brand new songs written for the classical voice by writers from the worlds of Gospel, Hip-Hop, Salsa, Jazz and Soul.
Arias and Duets by:
Nicky Brown, Dainty Drysdale, Tunde Jegede, Ola Onabule, Orphy Robinson and Alex Wilson.
Performed by ROH Vilar Young Artists:
Ailish Tynan (soprano), Hubert Francis (tenor) and Adrian Kelly (piano).