The Reunion:Delivering the Headrest

Primarily, Teboho (Gratitude)Tours, is the African Tosca immersed in dialogues centering universal integrity. Also, you may have witnessed her offer to the community a song or two. Inevitably, this year, African Tosca shares with you a story and a song, where opera meets her African spirituality. She is a Mosotho from Lesotho dedicating her spiritual journey's first ticketed public performance to completing the work on her father's grave in Rupert, Idaho. Perhaps, you are aware how our meagre wages barely keep the living alive and the dead at rest. Hence, African Tosca is singing, trying to visit her father's grave in Idaho... this time with a head rest. Essentially, this celebratory performance and fundraiser is a memory of life and its forms.

Basically, Tosca is Puccini's three-part aria that he discovered during his tours in Italy. The aria is a melodramatic tale of romance and politics. It is to African Tosca a prayer for justice, compassion and freedom core to her own prayer as a Mosotho ( a Lesotho native) who among other things fled a dark, romantic and political tale for freedom. Since our society encourages us to smile even when she is learning that sometimes she should be crying anywhere, including in public, she has found permission in Tosca to freely express any emotion - passion, excitement, frustration, name it!

In summary, he is [ grammarians, please bear with her :) ] Cletus Sethunya. A composer, a conductor and a tenor born on January 1st, 1934, he retired October 9th, 2013. A funny memory about him! When African Tosca was a little girl, she wanted to sound like her grandmother and sing in the operatic style, but was worried that she, Tosca, was too little to produce the big volume. So, after school, she sneaked out and ran about 45 minutes to the market to ask Madame Dora to show her how to sing with vibrato. When her father found out, he said God made Tosca an alto. Consequently, she stopped the classes. Yet, in his final days, talking with Tosca about the composition he and Tosca’s daughter were working on, he said: “You are probably ready to sing opera, now!" And he and African Tosca both laughed. "What about God?" was Tosca’s hearty retort :)

Currently, her father now lives in Rupert, Idaho. In the Basotho culture that mounded her, his graveside in Idaho is a sacred place where the Basotho pay respect to those who have passed on in a way that closely mimics how they would familiarize with if they were alive. That is why she celebrates her life within the context of her upbringing, performing spiritual music, yet in the blatant expression of her feelings she adopted from her mother. Tosca’s appearance on stage and in general tends to be influenced by her mother who for the most part grew around French Canadian mentors. African Tosca’s mother does not sugarcoat anything and because the Tosca has found that the American culture makes no accommodation for this demeanor, she uses opera as a vehicle.

In a nutshell, if you hear African Tosca sing Ave Maria or Pie Jesu or Madama Butterfly, you might have an inkling why.

$7.50 presale $10 at the door

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