A new folk opera created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon will be on stage at The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.
“Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version” will run April 26 at 7:30 p.m.
A genre-defying work featuring an ensemble of 20 singers and musicians, “Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower” presents two centuries of Black music to give musical life to the late Afro-futurist and science fiction author’s post-apocalyptic science fiction novel of the same name. Written by Toshi Reagon, in collaboration with Bernice Johnson Reagon, (founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock), “Parable” seeks to reveal deep insights on gender, race and the future of human civilization.
The musical chronicles the spiritual awakening of young Lauren Olamina amidst a dystopian America wracked by the violence brought on by climate change, unrelenting greed, and systemic injustice. Exploding the form of an opera, “Parable” fuses science fiction, African-American spiritualism, insights into gender and race and climate activism to construct mesmerizing meditation on the future of human civilization.
“For my mother and me, the essential thing in our pieces is the singing. All of the musical arrangements center around the voice,” said Toshi Reagon. “To us, when you are taken from your land and stripped of rights, your name, your people, your religion and assaulted relentlessly – your home is the sound your body can make. Your dignity rescues itself in the shelves of your instrument.”
Tickets are $27-$57 with discounts for students, seniors and military. Tickets can be purchased online
www.theoshaughnessy.com or by calling (651) 690-6700.