Friday, September 28, 2012

Jamaica/Germany Bond Continues Musically

The German Embassy in Jamaica along with Music Unites Jamaica Foundation and the Seaford Town NGO will host, 'German Day in Seaford Town' at Seaford Town, Westmoreland, Sunday September 30, 2012.  This indeed is yet another infusion of German Culture in Jamaica as the German presence dates back to 1835 when about 250 labourers were sent there.  

A number of musicians from Germany will bond with their Jamaican counterparts playing Opera.  Rosina Moder, Executive Director of Music Unites Jamaica Foundation (formerly known as RCM Music Foundation and on a mission to expand the awareness of Jamaica's musical heritage), will be playing the recorder and Michael Sean Harris an educator as well as an arranger will be doing two songs. "The Opera is Mickey" said Moder who further stated that this is the first Reggae Opera, central to the week of Jamaica-Germany celebrations.  "It is a Jamaican story, loosely based - it takes poetic licence - on Mickey Smith.  It is not autobiographical," she said.  Mickey Smith, a poet, was murdered on August 17, 1983, in Stony Hill, St. Andrew.  One of his more popular poems and recording is entitled, 'Mi Cyaan Believe It.'

The opera was created by Peter Ashbourne, a music composer who recently conducted the legendary Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) during the group's Jamaican performances on September 13 and 15 in Jamaica, Entertainment Consultant and Contractor Alvin Campbell and Professor Mervyn Morris, Writer/Poet.  On Thursday, October 4, there will be excerpts from the opera again at an Inter-Cultural Lunch Hour Concert, to be held at the Institute of Jamaica, East Street, Kingston.  The cast of performers from Seaford Town will be joined by pianist Roger Williams.  Much more of the opera will be performed at the Vera Moody Concert Hall, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, on October 6 and Our Lady of Fatima Church in Ocho Rios on October 7.

"For a year we were trying to get it on stage for Jamaica 50.  The German Ambassador was so excited about it and made it his flagship project," Moder said.  She is determined that the opera will play in Jamaica first, despite funding difficulties.  "People told me to put it on outside Jamaica and they will love it when it comes back.  I say how can a Jamaican story like Mikey go to London, Tokyo, Vienna first?" Moder asked.  "We need the musicians here, the dancers here.  It is to happen here.  We may suffer with sponsorship, but it has to happen here.  We may suffer with sponsorship, but it has happen here and then we can travel with it."

All four events in the series celebration of the Jamaica-Germany bond are free.  Sanitary facilities will be officially handed over by the Germany Embassy which should have a significant role in heritage tourism efforts around Seaford Town.

Excerpts from the Jamaica Gleaner
Article written by Gleaner Writer
Mel Cooke