FULL Là-bas ou ici… (Keiko Fujiie) Burkina Faso 2019
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Là-bas ou ici...
- Composer: Keiko Fujiie, Maboudou Sanou
- Libretto: Moyi MBOURANGON    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Institut Français de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
- Recorded: 2019, 2021
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Keiko Fujiie, Maboudou Sanou, Ibrahim Dembélé, Boureima Sanou
- Orchestra: Keiko Fujiie, Maboudou Sanou, Ibrahim Dembélé, Boureima Sanou
- Stage Director:
- Stage Designer: Hervé Humbert
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: Keiko Fujiie
- Date Published: 2022
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs, frsubs, jpsubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
This project, which is a great challenge of contemporary opera production, through a cross-cultural exchange, began in the autumn of 2019. The second phase has already reached completion, and I am about to commence the creation of the third and final part. Sub-Saharan Africa (the so-called Black Africa region) on the African continent, and especially the former French colonial nations of West Africa, is still suffering from poverty and political instability. There are several reasons why I chose Burkina Faso, which is considered to be the poorest country, as the home of opera production. Please visit our website for further information.
For the opening scene of the opera, we witness Liso arriving in Burkina Faso. As a child, Liso knew a refugee, Uncle Bosco, who had escaped from Angola, but he never imagined that one day he too would become a refugee.
Une fleur, un coeur et un poing (A flower, a heart and a fist)
The dream that he had, after he fled, exhausted, and fell asleep, was about the death of his father, which occurred when he was yet very young. As soon as his family received news that his father, who lived far away, had died, his two paternal uncles and an aunt expelled Liso, along with his mother and brother, from their house. That painful memory traumatized Liso.
Là-bas ou ici… (There or here)
Enduring a harsh life in a foreign country, the sound of the sea echoes in his ears, although there is no sea in this country, and he reminisces, whilst watching the passing women, immersed in the fragments of memories of his mother.
Mama n’aime pas les termes des mindele (Mother doesn’t like the white men’s terms)
Whilst raising Liso, his mother worked every day selling food. She talked about beings called “white masks – black skin.” These are white-educated black-skinned children, educated in schools built by whites. This scenario carries with it both pros and cons — one idea of them being bright stars of hope, who will create a better future for the country, and another idea of them being traitors to their ancestors. Whichever of these may be true, she says, remains uncertain.
The comedian ironically discusses the state of the people living in a situation of civil war, and various rumors about the abhorrent treatment of those who undergo illegal clandestine abortions.
Bimôgôg ya (The behavior of people these days)
In the song that follows, he mourns the distrust amongst people, that sometimes even relatives and siblings are doubtful and skeptical of each other, and sings that they can never be completely sure about the true nature of the society in which they dwell.
La Benjamin malgré lui… (Benjamin, in spite of himself)
In his refugee life, he is always thinking of his mother, whom he left behind in their hometown. If he were to return to his country, in its current situation, he would immediately be arrested, and therefore has no idea when they will again be able to reunite. He sings his poems, expressing his feelings for her. On his last night in Congo, wanted by the police, he visited his mother in the darkness to say goodbye to her, and then, whilst fleeing his hometown on a bus, his first poem was written.
Mimaho dimigna lé (Do you observe the world?)
Suddenly the phone rings and he receives the bad news. This scene is a real-life story of the singer Maboudou, not Liso. There was a terrorist attack at Inata in November which left his cousin missing. We still don’t know if he is alive or dead, but even the slightest hope begins to fade as the days pass. Is this a world dominated by murderers?!?
Petite fleur à la peau huile de palme… (Little flower on the palm-oiled skin)
After the blackout, the memory of his younger sister, who died of malaria at a very young age, is sung, together with memories of the sweet scent of gently falling rain. The feeling of shock at losing her is still vivid within him, as though it happened yesterday, even though 30 years has since passed by. During the interlude, the comedian speculates as to who her father was. The church priest is the most likely candidate …
La paix (The peace)
The song for peace is a common cry heard throughout all Africa.
His mother’s words echo in his ears: ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’
Demain la Terre… (Tomorrow the Earth)
Encouraged by this, he projects his beliefs into tomorrow and continues walking.
The final song invites all the public onto the stage! Let’s dance together!
*The opera story is based on “L’Aube d’un avenir avorté…” written by Moyi MBOURANGON aca Martial Pa’nucci and all song texts were taken from it except Bimôgô Ya, La paix and Sebeko. Those texts were written by Maboudou Sanou.