-New Opera by Tebogo Monnakgotla and Kerstin Perski
Foto: Markus Gårder
Premiere July 23 2021
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
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
Lena: Emma Johansson, mezzo soprano
Kaj - Pascal Zurek, bass baritone