About this Event
Funmilayo (an opera for chorus, soloists, and orchestra) by Bode Omojola
The opera focuses on the life of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (1900-1978), a Nigerian pioneer activist who campaigned against colonial rule and resisted the marginalization of women in local government administration.
As the leader of the Abeokuta Women’s Union, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti led a successful political movement against the imposition of taxation on market women, an uprising that culminated in the abdication of the Alake (King) of Egbaland in 1948. Her political activism provides a precedent for that of her son, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (1938-1997), a political firebrand and the originator of Afrobeat, whose musical activism is generally considered to have been unparalleled in Africa.
The African opera series has become one of the signature performances of the Music Department. These operas are noted for their use of African mythology and performance practices, featuring song, chant, dance, and drumming while utilizing the resources of the Western theatre.