As part of the Royal Opera House’s Engender Festival, Pegasus Opera is presenting Mami Wata at the Linbury Theatre on 16 and 17 July 2021. Conceived by soprano Alison Buchanan, artistic director of Pegasus Opera, Mami Wiata is a celebration of trailblazing, diverse women in opera with music by Bushra El-Turk, Errollyn Wallen, Nkeiru Okoye, Lettie Beckon Alston (1953-2014), Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), Dorothy Rudd Moore and Nahla Mattar, performed by Alison Buchanan, April Koyejo-Audiger, Simone Ibbett-Brown, Camille Maalawy and dancer choreographer Monique Jonas, directed by TD Moyo.
Mami Wata, the inspiration behind the concert, is the earliest black mermaid found in widespread creation myths across Africa. Alison Buchanan comments, „Mami Wata … brings together female artists to celebrate the vocal works of diverse female composers. It is an introduction to a rich, varied, yet often unheard body of work. It reflects the huge shift in consciousness when it comes to diversity and inclusion. To have Mami Wata at the Royal Opera House, world leaders in opera is significant. 30 years ago I was the first Black British woman to give a solo recital in the Royal Opera House crush bar after winning the Maggie Teyte competition. This time I share the stage with a host of beautiful, talented women of colour as we honour and celebrate amazing women composers of color. We have come a long way!”