In May, Matthieu Prual, a musician and composer based in Nantes, France, will present his new creation, the poetic opera, Le sel noir. It is based on Édouard Glissant´s poetic work (1960) Le sel noir, a text that evokes the memory of slavery and submission, while pointing ahead to the attainment of awareness, knowledge, hope, and healing. According to J. Michael Dash in his book Édouard Glissant, “This odyssey begins with ‘Temps anciens’ and follows the sea through the adventures of Carthage whose ruins were covered with salt by the Romans, then takes in the salt trade in Africa, and ends with the cessation of wandering in ‘mon noir pays’ where the salt of the unconscious washes up dissolved in the sea. In Le sel noir, these experiences which represent the diverse legacy of the past are set in motion by the figure of the conteur or storyteller” (57). With this in mind, it is interesting to note that the opera, performed by the Phoenix Ensemble under the direction of Prual, will include the participation of Glissant himself as a storyteller/narrator.
The opera will be presented in Nantes on May 9, 2009 as part of the events commemorating the abolition of slavery.
For program description (in French) see http://www.pannonica.com/programme/concert1107.html