From left, director of The 1688 Collective, Dr Stefan Walcott
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This year’s production of Handel’s Messiah is going to be bigger, better and extra special, says Dr Stefan Walcott, a director in The 1688 Collective, which produces the event, said they were taking the show on the road, so this year may well be the last time it was seen in Barbados for the next few years.
“The show definitely has potential for export. We’ve made the decision to take it to Trinidad next year and we are looking to perform in Germany in 2021.
“It will be one of the few productions indigenous to Barbados that will be touring the global space, but there’s a good chance this will mean we won’t be performing here at home in the next two to five years,” he said.
Walcott said this year’s production was going to be unique, as Dancin’ Africa will be taking part for the first time and they also had choreographer Aisha Comissiong on board. It will also take place back where it began – the Frank Collymore Hall.
“Last year we were at the museum, where we sold out for two nights, so we are hoping to do even better. We will have spouge, merengue and timba music,” he said.
Regarding the proposed move beyond Barbados’ shores, Walcott said it was not an easy process but they had managed to find the right mix.
“It is challenging, it requires a team of people with various talents. We also had to get the right support and create an appealing package but we believe we have a strong product with that strong support,” he said.
Director of Dancin’ Africa, Jennifer Sealy, said the dancers were proud to associate themselves with such a production as it gave them the opportunity to transform something not originally of their own into something local and regional, adding depth to the narrative.
Barbados’ Handel’s Messiah was first staged in 2017.
It is a contemporary/modern Caribbean reworking of the original play, which is a vocal and orchestral work in honour of Jesus Christ. This year’s show will take place from December 20 to 22 from 8 p.m. (CA)