MOREMI AJASORO 

Music by Pierre Audiger
Written and presented by April Atinuke Koyejo

Moremi, the storytelling opera by April Atinuke Koyejo, is inspired by her own ancestry and a desire to bring the Yoruba culture to the operatic stage. The opera infuses the Yoruba idea of “Folk Opera”, a format that emerged in Nigeria in the 1940’s, with western classical music, to tell the story of the mighty queen that saved Ilé-Ifẹ̀ from the people of the forest. The Yoruba storytelling technique, infused with western classical music, creates a piece of exciting operatic theatre.

The music, composed by Pierre Audiger, takes inspiration from the folklore, with an honest yet exciting rendition of Yoruba folk music reimagined in a western classical style.    

Stage director and writer: April Atinuke Koyejo
Choreographer: Stefanos Dimoulas
Background
The work is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative, interactive performance using costumes inspired by the culture of the Yoruba, and supported on stage by authentic African drums and percussion. The performance is set in the outskirts of the dark forest, with the Narrator and chorus depicted as gods and storytellers, switching from spoken to sung and from English to Yoruba.

The cast is formed of classically trained singers, a children chorus and Narrator and is boosted by the collaboration with specialist African dancers and trained ballet dancers. The dancers enhance the performance by taking on the roles of gods and goddesses, lovers, monsters and foes, their interpretation and fusion of the Yoruba and classical ballet dance form helps further explore the malleability of all art forms.

The aesthetics of the piece are highly important as they are in the Yoruba storytelling technique. The use of masquerades, accessories and costumes inspired and reimagined for the show, refreshes the western classical opera style thus creating an atmosphere which allows the audience to truly experience the Yoruba storytelling.

"a totally fresh and innovative experience" - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Bridewell Theatre
14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ

Nearest tube station: Blackfrias, St Pauls
29th and 30th August 2018 at 7.30pm

Running time: 1h30min

     TICKETS ON SALE MAY 2018

Biographies

April Atinuke Koyejo (Writer and Director)
April Atinuke Koyejo is the innovative and creative mind behind the Symposium Collective. Works she has written include Moremi Ajasoro, the Opera, The Lullaby Experiments and Apollo and Daphne. Moremi Ajasoro was performed last year in the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio to critical acclaim and has been reworked for performance this coming September. The Lullaby Experiments was performed on 18th March in the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music and was also highly reviewed with the show described as a highly imaginative use of classical music.

Aside from being a writer and director, April is an opera singer. Last year, she has achieved a ‘First Class Honours’ from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she studied under Wilma MacDougall. She currently studying her Masters of performance at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Vocal Professor Amanda Roocroft and is honoured to be a scholarship recipient from both the Leverhulme Trust and Help Musicians UK.
She was a part of Les Sirenes, ‘an all female choir’ as they gained first prize in the BBC ‘Choir of the year’ competition 2012’ and also toured Scotland with Susan Boyle.

Over the past few years April has taken part in many opera scenes, she has performed roles such as Gluck’s Euridice, Puccini’s Angelica from Suor Angelica, Monteverdi’s Poppea, Bess from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the role of Narrator in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. April has sung at many notable venues such as Sadlers Wells, the Southbank festival hall, The Barbican and as a Soloist at Westminister Cathedral, and the Notre Dame. Recently, April has performed the roles of Ellen Orford Peter Grimes and Countess Figaro in the RCM Opera scenes and as part of the Hispania Piano Festival. April looks forward to playing ‘First Lady’ from Mozart’s Magic Flute in the Royal College of Music Opera Scenes in May and repeat performances of Moremi Ajasoro and The Lullaby Experiments this coming summer.


Pierre Audiger (Composer)
Born in France, Pierre Audiger is a young pianist and composer and has studied Piano performance from 2012 to 2016 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland thanks to a scholarship from RCS Trust. Being classically trained in his piano practice, Pierre has also been writing music since the age of 17. His music has quickly been critically acclaimed and been described as having a “strong personality” and “an impressive display of character”. During his studies at RCS, Pierre studied Composition under the tutelage of the composer Dave Fennessy.

In 2015 Pierre won the Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial award for Composition for his piece Not A Clown premiered by violinist Ilya Gringolts at the RCS. Multi Award winning Pianist Petrica Ciobanu also commissioned him an encore piece “Paraphrase” on Mozart's 23rd Piano Concerto.

Pierre also composed an opera commissioned by Symposium Collective and written by creative director and opera singer April Koyejo. The opera Moremi Ajasoro was premiered on 19th June 2015 supported by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Recent events include the premiere of Pierre's Piano and Flute Sonata with flautist Graham Dickson. He is looking forward to also perform his Piano Concerto transcribed as a Piano Duet with pianist Sinae Lee at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this summer.


Stefanos Dimoulas (Choreographer)
Stefanos Dimoulas was born in Volos, Greece where he trained at the Municipal Dance School from the age of 4 before joining the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on a full scholarship, gaining a BA Modern Ballet. He was a company member as a soloist in Anti-thesis Dance and Theatre Company and was chosen to dance in the production of The Nutcracker by Universal Ballet of Korea at the age of 9. Stefanos was chosen to travel to Singapore with Scottish Ballet for the Youth Cultural Exchange Project as part of the Commonwealth Games. He has danced for choreographer Kerry Nicholls, Hubert Essakow as well as Kally Lloyd-Jones, Artistic Director of company Chordelia, in Dido and Aeneas. He is the choreographer and lead male dancer in Moremi Ajasoro’ and The Lullaby Experiments for the Royal College of Music, and has performed at the Theatre Royal for the Go Dance 15 festival. He has also been the lead male dancer in several dance videos, including Something in my heart by Röyksopp. He has improvised in Thermospheric Station for xCoAx international conference, premiered in New York, as well as for Anto Pett's Improvisation Performance. He is a current member of Embody Dance Company. Other works include collaborations with CBBC Official Chart Show, Alicia Keys and The National Geographic US.