Operas from Zambia
Damyna Damyna the Opera: the Libretto Outline
Chrispin Lindunda sings at the Lusaka Playhouse during Damyna Damyna the Opera.
Development specialists, laymen and donors, and the world that is as oppressed and subverted by their education and media-generated simulacra as much of Africa is by the lack of it, ironically.
Act 1 in four scenes: In the field and home
- Farmers working in field with ploughs, winter ploughing
- Introduces location by dance and song.
- Women in the compound preparing breakfast, collecting wood, water
- Damyna comes out of traditional house
- Explains who she is: Damyna’s Aunt, Mama Bwalya, rescues Damyna from Damyna’s mother before Damyna is sold to the brother of Damyna’s father to repay the debt of Damyna’s father, ostensible to marry her but her Aunt suspected otherwise.
- She is brought up as her Aunt’s daughter, to avoid trouble from her son, other than she hasn’t been to more than basic school
- She loves her ‘brother’ but of course cannot do anything about it, for family tranquility.
- She goes off to collect wood and water
- Her son, Por Phiri, from town is staying, emerges from another traditional house
- Some talk between Por and Damyna
- Damyna goes to get more water
- Sings of his jealous love of his ‘sister’
- Explains his name, given by geologist father, Por Phiri (Porphyry)
- Mama Bwalya comes out, sings of her children and explains Por Phiri and Damyna
- Wanting Por to get married
- M Bwalya also needs Damyna to get married so she can collect the lobella, because she has debts that need to be paid
- Car arrives with foreign and local consultants, Kati Poult and Given Chansa
- Kati can be any nationality other than local, who has hang-ups about Africa, Africans and development
- Farmers all arrive from the field for the meeting
- Absurd conversation about what farmers want
- Farmers are not serious
- Mischievous bumbling Witch doctor arrives, dumfounding everyone, who go to sleep
- Casts mischievous spells on Por, Kati, Damyna and Chansa
- They should all fall in love
- Por falls in love with Kati, which is sort of reciprocated
- Given falls in love with Damyna, which is not particularly reciprocated
- All agree to meet up later in a town café
Act 2 in five scenes: a Café in town
Mate Mate and Portia Imbula sing with the village chorus during a performance of Damyna Damyna the Opera
- Damyna meets up with Chansa
- Mama Bwalya arrives demanding to know what Damyna is doing
- Suddenly accepts her as a daughter and states lubola (bride price) to Chansa
- Happy with the idea that she can now pay her debt
- Por, not knowing that Damyna and Chansa were also meeting, arrives, joins the party
- Thinks bride price is good
- Damyna privately doubts Chansa but happy in her change of status
- Kati arrives
- Love duet between Por and Kati
- Witch doctor arrives with same effects as before, to correct his errors;
- Everyone fell in love with the wrong parties, because of the assumption that Damyna was Bwalya's real daughter.
- Everyone awakes from their dreams
- Mama Bwalya admits to Por that Damyna is not really his sister
- Kati has fallen in love with Chansa, and v.v
- Por falls out of love with Kati but is now confused, but has always loved Damyna
- future marriage implied
- Mama Bwalya must address this imbalance
- Witch-doctor-like character arrives, Bwalya's former husband, who claims he is the father of both Por and Damyna.(Therefore Por and Damyna cannot marry.)
- Bwalya tells her former husband that Por is not really his son. (So therefore they can marry, but the father remains a mystery).
- Marriage dance
- Marriage song
- The bow is taken in church. Closing scene is the bride comes in with her father, who looks very much the witch doctor but dressed as high ranking diplomat.