Friday, February 7, 2014

Haitian artist Edouard Duval-Carrié inspires the opera 'Makandal'

Supernatural figures and vast stretches of sea or sky dominate the work of Haitian-born visual artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. But when poet and playwright Carl Hancock Rux first encountered Mr. Duval-Carrié’s art, he saw something else entirely. “I decided I wanted to write an opera that looked at Haiti, and I wanted it to be born out of the imagination of this man’s art, as well as grounded in history,” Mr. Rux said.

Now, after more than five years of writing, researching, false starts and long pauses, Mr. Rux’s opera is coming to fruition. “Makandal,” an opera rooted in the history of the 18th-century revolutionary leader Francois Makandal, will have its world premiere next year as a production of Harlem Stage, the performing-arts center dedicated to contemporary work by artists of color.

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