Operas from Zambia
Damyna Damyna the Opera: the Synopsis
The Wedding ceremony during a performance of Damyna Damyna the Opera at the Lusaka Playhouse.
What the opera is about?
The predominant flavour is African, Zambian specifically, with an African cast, except for one (or two) foreigners.The tensions are between development and tradition. The philosophy is postmodernist in a culture of post-colonialism, in a less-than-advanced economy, which therefore cannot be postmodern by definition (see the first page of Lyotard)!
Kati Poult is from any neo-imperialist country (donor-based influencer) but the favourites would be Britain for the colonial connection, USA for replacing colonialism with globalisatism, and China in its more recent neo-colonial ambitions; however, it is also appropriate for other notable neo-imperialists, which include Japan and Germany, and the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland; in fact any donor country seeking influence.
Porphiri (porphyry) is a UK-educated successful Zambian of wealthy international parents living between the centre (Europe) and the periphery (Zambia), unphased by the white/black binarism, with pragmatic scientific views. Typically, this character derives his income from renting townhouses in Lusaka to expatriates, usually without paying tax and often living in South Africa, Europe or US. (Similar characters from Europe are referred to as 'trust bunnies' in Africa.)
Kati Poult (catapault) is a typical postmodern do-gooder with the belief that everyone is equal and that culture does not constrain development. A catapault is typically a male child's possession. which he uses with considerable precision and accuracy, like the often catastrophic destablising effects of many Western interventions.
Damyna is the product of pre-modern up-bringing, no education but the narrative ignorance of her peers, noting that her adopting mother quickly reverted to pre-modernism from her former international life.
The generalised atmosphere of the opera is the failures and anomalies of development caused by gender and racialist issues inherently and often absurdly trapped in pre-modernism, postmodernism, post-colonialism, neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism (aid).