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Pegasus Opera Company: Windrush, the Journey

Thursday 6 June until Saturday 8 June

Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Road, N15 4RX

202406 windrush the journey opera

Pegasus Opera Company in partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra present Windrush, The Journey.

For more than 30 years, Pegasus Opera Company has fearlessly paved the way for diverse talent in opera. Today, we’re paying tribute to Windrush, showcasing a rich tapestry of music and storytelling, and celebrating Black classical composers: past, present and future.

Through the outstanding music of Chevalier de Saint Georges, Richard Thompson and Des Oliver – three composers who represent different eras of Black history – we’ll honour the legacy of the Windrush generation with an exciting fusion of classical music, jazz and blues.

A fascinating immersive exhibition showcasing the work of Black British composers through music, photographs and local Windrush testimony will be showcased in the foyer of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in the week of the performances.

Pegasus Opera Company Launches Ambitious Windrush Concert and Exhibition touring London, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool in June 2024

Pegasus Opera Company, renowned for its commitment to diversity and excellence in classical music, proudly announces its latest initiative, a multifaceted project celebrating the Windrush generation and the profound impact of Black British composers. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Cockayne Foundation and the Foyle Foundation; Pegasus Opera Company is poised to embark upon an unforgettable journey across the UK.

Windrush – The Journey comprises three interlinked components:

1. A Concert Tour:

A Concert Tour traversing five iconic locations including Bristol Beacon (accompanied by Piano and Violin), Birmingham Hippodrome (accompanied by Piano and Violin), Tung Concert Hall, Liverpool (accompanied by Piano), Albany Theatre, London (accompanied by Piano and Violin), and Bernie Grant Centre, London (accompanied by Piano). Windrush – The Journey, Concert Tour promises to captivate audiences with a rich tapestry of music and storytelling. Featuring works by distinguished Black composers Chevalier de Saint George and Richard Thompson, alongside a premiere from the groundbreaking new commission Windrush Opera composed by Des Oliver with Libretto by Edson Burton, this concert series will honour the legacy of the Windrush generation with a fusion of classical music, steel pan, jazz, and blues.

2. Interactive Exhibition:

Accompanying the concert tour, an immersive exhibition will showcase the contributions of Black British composers from the past, present and future, complemented by oral histories collected from the local Windrush communities in each touring location. Through listening posts, curated photographs, and personal anecdotes, visitors will be transported into the vibrant tapestry of the Windrush experience, fostering a deeper understanding of cultural heritage and resilience.

3. Windrush Travelling Songbook:

At the heart of the project lies the Windrush Travelling Songbook, a digital archive of original music written by children inspired by the oral histories and testimonies of the Windrush generation. Working with intergenerational groups in each location, Pegasus Opera Company will empower young people to create musical anthems inspired by real life Windrush testimony that celebrate the rich tapestry of their heritage, fostering meaningful connections across generations.

Alison Buchanan, Artistic Director of Pegasus Opera Company, commented, “Our Windrush Concert, Exhibition and Workshops are not merely a celebration of history, but a call to action for inclusivity and representation in the arts. By amplifying the voices of Black classical composers and honouring the resilience of the Windrush generation, we aim to inspire a new era of diversity and excellence in classical music.”

The community engagement programme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will enable Pegasus Opera Company to capture the untold stories and memories of the Windrush generation, ensuring that their legacy endures for generations to come.
About Pegasus Opera Company:

Founded in 1992, Pegasus Opera Company is a leading advocate for diversity and excellence in classical music. With a mission to champion underrepresented voices and empower communities through the arts, Pegasus Opera Company produces innovative productions and educational programs that celebrate cultural heritage and foster inclusivity.

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Dates and times

Thursday 6 June 7.30pm
Friday 7 June 2.30pm
Friday 7 June 7.30pm
Saturday 8 June 2.30pm

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