Peter Langmead

Film Director, Screenwriter, Composer, Steadicam operator, Social Documentary Photographer

My Music

What is it all about

It took me three months to write the libretto of Damyna, Damyna, with distractions, and a further year to write the music. Zambia has no practical performance space; the 'Playhouse' had an illustrious past that has now deteriorated to a drinking parlour and plenty of regrets from the players. It belongs to a trust, it is in a great position and nobody knows where the deeds are. I speculate that they will not come to light until the 240-seat Playhouse is replaced by a hotel or office complex. A second option is the 'government complex': 2,500 seats with lousy acoustics, built by the Chinese and the best lecture hall in the country. The conjecture must be, is there a need for a performance space at all? There have been few successful shows in Lusaka, on anything, except Trevor Noah of course! We have had some greats since but the productions have not been very good.

Actually, all this is irrelevant because the stage is one of the key indicators of civilisation and, anyway, there are some others, including the American International School, which is half way between Lusaka and somewhere else, a large hall at another lesser international school, and another huge hall in the government complex. These halls however are more like lecture theatres and could not manage much more than a chamber orchestra. All this adds up to the idea that I may also have to build a stage, on the veranda. Those who know me, know that I have been here before. The few portable stages in Zambia have their limitations and are priced to encourage competition.

This is now all history; my first opera was performed April 3-5, 2014, produced by Langmead & Baker Ltd, me mostly, with help from all sorts of places, various musicians, choralists, dancers and singers from all over, and the German conductor Theo Bross. The premiere was very tough, out of balance between the orchestra pit and the stage, many in the audience could not hear the words. The second night was the best, the performers could be heard. We won't discuss the third night! Needless-to-say, that was the only night with a full video recording. I then published the full score, the vocal score with keyboard and the libretto, which are now on Amazon.co.uk.

Chrispin

My second opera, The Legend of Konga Mato was performed April 9-11, 2015, and conducted by Daniel Siisii. The Music director was Joseph Muyunda. Reviews and comments are elsewhere. The Full Score, Libretto and the Vocal Score with Keyboard have been published and are available from Amazon.co.uk. I am now working on my third opera.

Tom Chiponge with dancers in a performance of The Legend of Konga Mato

Damyna Damyna the Opera was the basis for the movie Damyna the Musical, which was released in 2018. The movie The Borderline was released in 2019.

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The Next Movie

The script is prepared for my next movie and pre-production is in progress. This is the most time-consuming part of filmmaking and production is expected to begin at the end of the year,