-New Opera by Tebogo Monnakgotla and Kerstin Perski

Foto: Markus Gårder

The opera’s central character, Edward, has been forced to flee from his African home country. Left behind is his partner John, imprisoned accused of crimes “against nature”. During the difficult process of integration in the new country, Edward gradually realises that he is often looked upon as “the other” and slowly he understands that he de facto is a stranger also to himself. And when John at last can be released from prison and arrives to reunite with Edward in their new home country, Edwards grasps that he has become a stranger to John as well. And John to him.


One day John finds a suitcase packed with all his things in the living room in his and Edward's apartment. On the table sits a letter from Edward. In the letter, John is asked to move out of the apartment before Edward returns. Edward knows that he’s hurting John, knows he's a coward, but says he can't do otherwise and asks for forgiveness. Devastated, John writes an answer he leaves on the table, takes the suitcase and disappears forever from Edward's life.

In other words, our opera begins with the end, when the catastrophe is a fact. Why did it happen? How come that two persons, so totally devoted to each other that they have risked their lives in their homophobic home country, start to become strangers towards each other when they finally can live without fear and oppression?  Have their new well-meaning friends in their adopted country had a negative influence? Could the disaster have been prevented?  What kind of animal is the zebra, is it white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

Music: Tebogo Monnakgotla
Text: Kerstin Perski

Production Team 

Director: Deda Cristina Colonna     

Musical leader: Emil Eliasson

Costume and set designer: Bente Rolandsdotter 

Wig & make up designer : Anne-Charlotte Reinhold

Light designer: Susanna Hedin, Lumination of Sweden 



Edward: Georg Källström, tenor 

John: Luthando Qave, baritone

Disa: Agnes Auer, soprano 

Anna: Karin Osbeck, mezzo soprano

Lena: Emma Johansson, mezzo soprano

Kaj - Pascal Zurek, bass baritone 

Leader: Filip Gloria, Violin I

Lovisa Ehrenkrona, Violin II

 Ester Forsberg, Viola

Rebecka Lagman, Cello

Jessica Fällgren, Double bass 

Christine Amcoff, Flute 

Adam Lindtrup, Clarinet

Gerson Fabris, Bassoon 

Eelis Malmivirta, Horn 

Mattias Nyström, Trombone

Claire Montcharmont, Harp 

Andreas Nyström, Percussion 

Premiere July 23 2021 in Bröllopssalen at Vadstena Castle

26, 27, 29, 30 July kl 18.30

5,6 August kl 18.30
8 August kl 16.00
10, 11 August at 18.30 Recorded by The Swedish Radio

The Performance is 2 h 10 min including 30 min Pause. 

Photo: Martin Hellström 

August 21, Zebran is broadcasted on the Swedish radio P2. 


English synopsis

English libretto act 1

English libretto act 2