Post-1994 Black Opera: South Africa's Political and Cultural Life through Art Music


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


African Languages


Between 1994 and 2014, thirteen full operas, five short operas, the Five:20 project, an oratorio and one operetta were premiered in South Africa. This list excludes a number of adaptations and productions of classical standards by different opera companies during the same period. The common thread binding all these operas together is how they foreground the black operative subject, a focus that invites framing the opera in ways that appropriate indigenous styles - also termed indigenization - common to African performance traditions in South Africa. The indigenization at the heart of South Africa’s opera experimentation makes this art form a probable place for incisive discussions about the post-apartheid politics and cultural life, production politics, reception, patronage and black transnational identities. This book will draw a wide range of performance and music theories, including theories of the Global South to explore intricacies of black operatic space within broader efficacies of change and continuity in South Africa.