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The Wanderer’s Tethering

April 6 @ 3:00 pm 5:00 pm

Boston Lyric Opera returns to the Prior Performing Arts Center at Holy Cross with the song cycle “The Wanderer’s Tethering.” This piece, which BLO premiered in June 2023, combines poetry by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and music by Boston-based composer, vocalist, and multimedia artist Mason Bynes. It follows the story of Tobi, a descendant of the Igbo community whose members were stolen from modern-day Nigeria and led a revolt on the shores of Georgia in 1803. Bynes’ music merges Negro spirituals and Igbo folkloric music, reflecting the transformation experienced by the contemporary protagonist as she claims her own identity. The program will also include stirring selections of vocal music and string quartets performed by BLO artists and Castle of Our Skins.

Porsha Olayiwola is a native of Chicago who writes, lives and loves in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the founder of the Roxbury Poetry Festival. Olayiwola is Brown University’s 2019 Heimark Artist -In -Residence as well as the 2021 Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She is a 2020 poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American poets. Olayiwola earned her MFA in poetry from Emerson College and is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too. Olayiwola is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston. Her work can be found in or forthcoming from with TriQuarterly Magazine, Black Warrior Review, The Boston Globe, Essence Magazine, Redivider, The Academy of American Poets, Netflix, Wildness Press, The Museum of Fine Arts and elsewhere.

Marta Beyer

Luth Concert Hall, Prior Performance Center

1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
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