The Golden Stool, or the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa

LOD & Toneelhuis / Gorges Ocloo
Thu 27 Apr - Sun 26 Nov
27 Apr
26 Nov

An AfrOpera by Gorges Ocloo

"Mixing Western opera repertoire with African percussion and beats? For that, you need a delightfully unorthodox composer like Gorges Ocloo. Musically, he treads unseen paths in The Golden Stool." **** - De Standaard

"All stops are pulled out in this enthusiastic and charming performance that recalls a quote by Puerto Rican rapper Residente: With Ocloo "[...] you eat, even when you're not hungry."" – Etcetera

"The Golden Stool, or the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa is a rock-solid statement where operatic repertoire is used to finally tell other, more necessary and non-Western-oriented stories." *** – Knack Focus

"They stamp their feet and clap their hands. And then the immortal melody of 'Habanera, l'amour est un oiseau rebelle' from Georges Bizet's Carmen resounds. A voice and percussion, that's all it is. But how infectious it sounds." – De Tijd 

"With great care, Ocloo gives a voice to the forgotten strong women who have resisted and also paid a costly price for it." – Theaterkrant 

Gorges Ocloo and Saar-Niragire De Groof are guests on Heleen Debruyne's show. They talk about Gorges' journey to Ghana, forgotten stories and musical choices. Listen to the interview. – Pompidou, Klara 

Gorges Ocloo makes 'Afropera' for Opera Ballet Flanders. Listen to the interview with Gorges Ocloo. – Culture Club, Radio 1

Who is Nana Yaa Asantewaa? Why was she important? And what is her legacy? 

Around 1900, she led the resistance against the troops of the British Monarch as an old woman and, together with the women’s brigade she formed, held out for a year in the war for the Golden Stool, the throne and pride of the Asante people in Ghana. The British had been slaughtering the Asante to gain access to timber, gold and cocoa for years. The industrial revolution in faraway England required resources, many resources, like a hungry beast. For Nana Yaa Asantewaa and her women, the British Monarch’s claiming of the Golden Stool was the last straw. The Golden Stool would not leave the country! 

Nobulumko Mngxekeza-Nziramasanga (soprano), Nonkululeko Nkwinti (mezzo-soprano), Doris Bokongo Nkumu, Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu, Abena Biney Gloria, Titilayo Oliha, Saar-Niragire De Groof, Briana Stuart, Maïmouna Badjie and Somalia Williamson sing, act and dance the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa and her courageous struggle, to the sounds of famous arias from the classical Western opera repertoire – which Gorges Ocloo has appropriated for the occasion. Handel, Bizet, Shostakovich, Verdi, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Orff... they all pass in revue. With this AfrOpera, Gorges Ocloo reveals his roots.






LOD & Toneelhuis / Gorges Ocloo
The Golden Stool, the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa 

concept, direction, libretto, composition, set design & costumes Gorges Ocloo 
soprano Nobulumko Mngxekeza-Nziramasanga 
mezzosoprano Nonkululeko Nkwinti 
choir, dance & percussion Doris Bokongo Nkumu, Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu, Gloria Abena Biney, Titilayo Oliha, Saar-Niragire De Groof, Briana Stuart, Maïmouna Badjie & Somalia Williamson 
advice choir composition & choir master Joris Minten 
co-libretto & dramaturgy 
Josse De Pauw 
musical advice Katherina Lindekens 
assistant director Chiara Monteverde 
costume design Kasia Mielczarek
realision set & costumes Atelier Toneelhuis
light Pino Etz & Gilles Roosen 
sound Victor Hidaldo 
video technics Wim Piqueur 
video recordings Gorges Ocloo
audio recordings Isa Tubbax
production manager Eva De Wolf  & Noor De Graaf
production LOD muziektheater & Toneelhuis 
coproduction Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, O. Festival Rotterdam & Romaeuropa Festival
with the support of enoa & the Creative Europe Programme, the tax shelter measure by the belgian federal gouvernment
tax shelter partner Flanders tax shelter
with thanks to Lukas Vanhoutte, Naomi Lampariello, Peter King, Wilhelmina Donkoh, The Queen Mother of Ejisu, The Women Commission Office of the Koforidua Technical University