Global superstar Angélique Kidjo's musical theatre work "Yemandja" to premiere at MASS MoCA
Angélique Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. She also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador and created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa.
The global superstar and four-time Grammy Award winner now stars in Yemandja, a new music theater work that is a family drama and historical thriller infused with Greek tragedy and themes of love, betrayal, honor, free will, and the horror and injustice of slavery. Named for a Yoruban deity, this MASS MoCA co-commission a parable about gods and humans that illuminates through song what can happen when people are robbed of their culture. Yemandja is written by Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, Angelique’s daughter, directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, with visual design by artist Kerry James Marshall, and features a cast of 10 performers plus four musicians.
The musical will be performed at MASS MoCA on March 4 (sold out) and 5.