Boston Lyric Opera to Present ‘The Wanderer’s Tethering’

By David Salazar

The Boston Lyric Opera is set to premiere “The Wanderer’s Tethering” this summer.

The work, which will be presented in a summer concert, on June 18 at Hibernian Hall, is a collaboration between Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and composer Mason Bynes that recontextualizes the 1803 Igbo revolution in Georgia through one of its descendants.

The program was curated by Vimbayi Kaziboni in collaboration with Castle of Our Skins.

Per a press release, “Olayiwola and Bynes’s music-and-spoken-word composition follows the story of Tobi, a contemporary descendent of the Nigerian community known as Igbos, whose members were captured from West Africa and forced onto boats that brought them to the shore of modern-day Georgia. Upon landing, when the Igbos recognized they were to become enslaved in America, the community led a revolt on the Wanderer ship. After initial success fighting their captors and escaping, the group members submerged themselves into Georgia’s Dunbar Creek and committed mass suicide rather than live in captivity.”

“This event celebrates so many aspects of the Black experience in America, and features music we think is meaningful around the Juneteenth holiday,” Kaziboni said in an official press statement. “In developing this program, it became important that the contemporary pieces link to music from the past.”

“The Wanderer’s Tethering” also features music by Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, and Trevor Weston. Soloists include Brianna J. Robinson who is a BLO Jane & Steven Akin Emerging Artist and recently performed in “Omar.”