Royal Opera House Announces ‘Insurrection: A Work in Progress’

By Francisco Salazar

The Royal Opera House has announced “Insurrection: A work in progress.”

The project is a series of semi-staged showcases in the Linbury Theatre, based on a new work currently in development that explores how we come together to understand the legacy of enslavement.

The events will run from March 21 to 25, 2023 which is International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Baritone, artist, and broadcaster Peter Brathwaite is developing “Insurrection,” investigating his own ancestors, who were enslaved workers and enslavers on sugar plantations in Barbados. “Insurrection” charts the story of rebellion and resistance in Barbados, and celebrates the human need to gather, move, make music, and tell stories, amid, and in response to, oppression.

The work is a collaboration between baritone Peter Brathwaite, director Ellen McDougall, writer Emily Aboud, and music director  Yshani Perinpanayagam who is arranging the original material. The team will be joined by a soprano, and five musicians including percussionist Rosie Bergonzi. The work is programmed by the Royal Opera and produced by Fay Jennett, with the support of Cultural Consultant Dr Stefan Walcott.

The Royal Opera House will workshop and rehearse the project in the Linbury Theatre throughout March, culminating in a series of presentations at schools, community groups, and the public. At these showcases, audience members will be asked to reflect on the work, discuss the stories told and explore the music’s impact.