Jamaica Gleaner - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL NEWS -

strength, that power, that spir­i­tu­al­ity. The in­sight, the in­cred­i­ble strate­gic abil­ity that she had to con­duct war­fare without arms when the Bri­tish mili­tia was fully armed. I saw this as an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop in the op­er­atic canon one of our own. This was go­ing to be pos­si­bly the first time in the Euro­pean canon an opera that fea­tured a per­son of African or Caribbean de­scent was shown in Europe.”

A for­mer his­tory teacher, Thomp­son said be­cause the Caribbean story was of­ten “writ­ten out” of Euro­pean his­tory, as soon as she got a chance as a com­poser to tell that story, she took it. The re­al­ity of life in the Caribbean was not well known in Europe be­cause, “there’s a very par­tic­u­lar de­pic­tion in the news­pa­pers, on the ra­dio, the tele­vi­sion that per­pet­u­ates myths”.


Tony Kelly, Abi­gail’s fa­ther, in­formed me by email that in her first Ja­maican con­cert in 2008, Abi­gail per­formed a suite of five Ja­maican folk songs ar­ranged by Peter Ash­bourne “with a clas­si­cal twist” at the open­ing of Dr Shirley J. Thomp­son an­swers ques­tions about her opera ‘Sa­cred Moun­tain: In­ci­dents in the Life of Queen Nanny of the Ma­roons’. the Ja­maica De­fence Force (JDF) mu­seum.

“Since then, those songs are a reg­u­lar fea­ture of her reper­toire at recitals in Eng­land, Europe, South Africa, Cay­man Is­lands and Montser­rat, along­side the well-known [clas­si­cal] arias, as that is part of her cul­tural roots and her­itage,” he added.

Next Wed­nes­day, Thomp­son is sched­uled to be a key­note speaker for the BBC Di­ver­sity in Com­po­si­tion con­fer­ence at the Royal North­ern Col­lege of Mu­sic.

“I will posit the strong con­tri­bu­tion of mu­si­cian/ com­posers from Ja­maica, the In my ar­ti­cle on Sa­cred Moun­tain pub­lished in The Gleaner on Septem­ber 14, I mis­tak­enly termed the opera “un­fin­ished”. What Dr Thomp­son had called “a work in progress” was the pre­sen­ta­tion at the School of Mu­sic, which was staged af­ter only a week of re­hearsals with dancers and mu­si­cians. She was not re­fer­ring to the opera.

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Stan­dards and Trends 2016 is at Span­ish Court Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, 16 Wor­thing­ton Ave.

Dye Dye Girls present Wait Yuh Turn at Badda Badda Place, He­nessy Pub, Gayle. Mu­sic by Exxtacy Sound, Trip­ple C, DJ U and Juff, and Pan a Knock.


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