Combining opera, hip-hop and jazz singing with spoken word and dance, We Shall NotBe Moved has a brooding, often joyful, score that is filled with purpose and possibility. Emmy-nominated Daniel Bernard Roumain’s music combines with Global TED fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s words, which, with direction from two-time Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones, creates a piece that is soulful, beautifully simple and suggests a hopeful vision of the future.
Five young people are on the run, taking refuge in a derelict house on the site of Philadelphia’s former MOVE compound.
The self-defined family of young people is inspired by the ghosts inhabiting their new home. A confrontation with a local police officer – herself a woman of colour – raises issues of identity, gender, race and the violence that sometimes ensues. Ultimately, the piece hinges on the notion of personal responsibility.
“What it comes down to is a very human confrontation. Who’s right and who’s wrong… a discussion that happens in the head and in the heart.” – Bill T. Jones
On 13 May 1985, local police ended a standoff with the radical black liberation group MOVE by dropping explosives on the organisation’s terraced house headquarters – starting a fire that city officials then allowed to burn. Eleven MOVE members, including five children, were killed and an entire neighbourhood was wiped out, leaving over 250 people homeless.
**** “a thing of intense power and pathos” Bachtrack
“Luminous, Moving & Spectacular” Opera News
“Powerful & Haunting” Newswork
“this groundbreaking and fearless work defies conventional opera in every aspect” Schmopera
“a smart and deeply affecting work, reminds its audience that the painful aftershocks of tragic events are felt for generations” Broad Street Review
£49.50 – £15 (plus £1 per ticket online, £1.25 per ticket over the phone) Limited number of Premium Seats available at £75.00+fees
Please Note: Children under 14 years need to be accompanied at all times by a paying adult.
Performed in English with English Supertitles
Photo credit: Dominic M. Mercier and Dave DiRentis
Michael Bishop, Caci Cole Pritchett, Duane Lee Holland Jr., Tendayi Kuumba