Obeah Opera is a hand clapping, foot stomping, spirit lifting, magical musical sensation. Steeped in Black music, sung entirely a cappella by a powerful all-female cast, Obeah Opera is a retelling of the legendary Salem witch trials from the fascinating perspective of Caribbean slave women.
The first of its kind, Obeah Opera (music & libretto by Nicole Brooks) is an a cappella ‘musical odyssey’ or ‘theatrical epic’ sung and danced by a racially diverse cast of ideally 20+ women. Rooted in the 17th century world of the Salem Witch Trials, (the same story found in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ among other famous works including operas and films) this production revisits history and tells the story from the perspective of a young Caribbean slave, Tituba. It is a ground- breaking dramatic work that redefines the traditional opera form by moving away from its European classical standard and using an array of different musical genres mainly found in what is termed ‘Black’ music such as spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, traditional African, Caribbean Folk, Calypso, ska, R&B and reggae. It expands the definition of opera by incorporating a variety of storytelling elements from the performing arts and uses an inter-disciplinary approach that includes traditional theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance, visual arts. It ultimately introduces a different use of language, voice, and the body on stage.