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Rokia Traore Joins Forces With Toni Morrison and Peter Sellers

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Wednesday April 27, 2011

From Cal Performances

Cal Performances brings you the U.S. premiere of an extraordinary theatrical collaboration! In response to Peter Sellars’s 2009 Othello, Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, singer/songwriter Rokia Traoré, and Peter Sellars join forces to create an intimate and profound conversation from beyond the grave between Shakespeare’s Desdemona and Barbary, the woman Shakespeare identifies as the African nurse who raised her. After centuries of colonialism and racism, the two women share stories, songs, determination, and hope for a different future. Morrison has written an unforgettable, incisive, and compelling script, and writing the music and singing the role of Barbary is Rokia Traoré, one of Africa’s greatest vocalists. Traoré plays off the griot tradition, transforming and extending classic Malian music into a “truly mesmerizing” (USA Today) sound. Peter Sellars, the creative, penetrating, and influential voice in the world of opera and theater, directs.

The Desdemona project has been commissioned and is being co-produced by Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley; Wiener Festwochen, Vienna; Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York; spielzeit’europa I Berliner Festspiele; Barbican, London, Arts Council London, and London 2012 Festival.

For more information click here