Acclaimed composer and singer Juwon Ogungbe’s thrilling new music-theatre piece, brings to life the Ethiopian legend of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Influenced by African musical genres and Opera – from the continent and its Diaspora – the legend of the first Emperor of the Solomonic Dynasty is told by two female Rastafari devotees, travelling to the Shashamane commune in Ethiopia that the last reigning Emperor, Haile Selassie, donated to the Rastafari faith.
Juwon Ogungbe said: “On a visit to Ethiopia several years ago, I visited their National Gallery. I became really inspired by the exhibit of the Queen of Sheba’s compound. After hearing her story, the seduction by King Solomon and the birth of their son, I wanted to retell this legend that has so much importance and symbolic value in African history. I’m really excited to develop this piece with some brilliant and diverse creatives and share the story with Peckham and beyond.”
To coincide with Black History Month, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba will be performed at Theatre Peckham with an ensemble of classical singers from diverse heritages, and a youth chorus from Theatre Peckham, in a semi-staged presentation. There will be a Q&A session after the show.
Juwon Ogungbe is a distinguished opera singer and composer, as well as a performer in a range of other genres. He has composed for the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Southbank Centre amongst many others. In 2018, his operatic works have been in various stages of development at Opera North, Grimeborn Opera Festival (Arcola Theatre) and at the Dhow Countries Music Academy, Zanzibar. More information about Ogungbe’s work can be found at www.juwonogungbe.com and www.afrocentriccreatives.com