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Jean-Louis Fernandez


LOD muziektheater

LOD muziektheater

New narratives and speculative imaginaries

mentored by Stacy Hardy

08 - 10 December 2022

LOD muziektheater


In his film “An Opera of the World” director Manthia Diawara makes reference to Édouard Glissant’s concept of “chaos-opera” as a provocation to rethink opera. For Glissant opera provided both a metaphor and a means to orchestrate the unpredictability and multiplicity of our contemporary world; a form which could not only contain the cacophony of voices and cultures his “poetics of relations” demands, but also capture the incandescent beauty of a world in diffusion.


At a time when there is a burning urgency to challenge opera's roots in Western, male dominated perspective, it provokes and invokes us to us imagine a radical feminist nomadic decolonial theatrical and musical form informed by Glissants visions of the shifting energies of tides, the wind and the scintillating celestial bodies.



Day 1


Taking this as a starting point, the workshop invites participants to shift their centre and to explore new narratives in opera from a radically nomadic, decolonial perspective. Engaging the both ancient traditions and the radical aesthetics of a new generation of practitioners, informed by a wide-ranging set of musical, political and praxial experiences, it presents a secret, untold, and counter history of opera that opens the pathways to new imagery horizons and futures. 


Session 1: Introduction: participants introduce themselves, discuss their stakes in the workshops and their aspirations and dreams

Session 2:  Introduction and multimedia presentation interweaving ideas and speculations with text, videos and images


Day 2


Working from the crossroads of the sacred and the profane, passion and comprehension, orality and the written word, of inner roots and external adjuncts, fatal vocal force and generosity, we explore and experiment with new narratives that reimagine opera / theatre as ritual and communal practice, opera as spectacle, opera as choral life, opera as musical theatre, opera as big band, opera as sound (and unsound) material, opera as fragmented arias, opera as improvisation and opera as radical interdisciplinary collective migratory political practice.


Session 1: Guest presentation & discussions  (2 or 3 guest)

Session 2: Break out group discussions


Day 3


New stories require not only new form and aesthetics but also new methods and modalities. How do different voices might cohabitate- literally and figuratively- the same space without capitulating, assimilating, or forcing a cohesion?  How can different voices maintain their opacity (rather than the often idealised ‘harmony’) with each other, and how might this cacophony allow for new forms, voices, and hybrid languages to emerge?


Session 1: Guest presentation & discussions  (2  guest)

Session 2: Break out group experiments and improvisations

Session 3: Wrap up and going forward




Stacy Hardy is a writer and researcher, whose work explores questions of embodiment and the deep rooted connection between the personal and the social, the individual body and the larger social body.


Her short fiction is regularly published in journals and literary anthologies around the world and she was the winner of the 2018 Brittle Paper Award for African Fiction and a finalist in the 2018 Caine Prize. A collection of her short fiction, Because the Night was published by Pocko Books, London in 2015.


Her writing is often musical and she regularly collaborates with musicians, including a long term ongoing collaboration with Angolan composer Victor Gama on multimedia musical works that have been performed in Chicago, Berlin, Lisbon, Luanda, Cape Town, amongst other places.


Her experimental performance piece, Museum of Lungs, created together with Laila Soliman, and musicians Neo Muyanga and Nancy Mounir, premiered in Johannesburg (2018), followed by dates in Europe, including Kaserne, Basel and Spielart in Munich (2018 - 2019).


She worked as librettist on the opera WOMAN AT POINT ZERO with Laila Soliman and Bushra El Turk. Première Festival d’Aix en Provence 2022.


 Practical informations


Date: From Decembre 8th to 10th, 2022

Place: LOD muziektheater
Bijlokekaai 3
9000 Gent


 Application process

> For enoa artists already connected to one of the 12 enoa member institutions: you must contact your sending institution, which decides if they will recommend your application

> For artists not connected to the network yet, you can also apply to this specific workshop

Deadline to apply: September 30th 2022


All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration without regard to their personal situation.


The enoa network is actively seeking to support artists currently under-represented in the opera world for historical, cultural or social reasons.

More information on enoa’s commitments




Number of participants: max. 20

- Positions reserved for participants supported by enoa organisations: 8

- Positions reserved for participants selected by the hosting institution: 12


 Artistic requirements

Application requirements:


• Letter of motivation

• CV or bio

• Some recorded works (if any)



Selection criteria:


• Younger artists (up to 35 years)

• Interesting artistic work (selection made by Stacy Hardy)


Program to prepare: Information will be sent out the accepted participants closer to the date.




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