Odaline de la Martinez: Women Make Music
Plantation will complete my Slavery Opera Trilogy. The trilogy looks at slavery through the eyes of two lovers Oko and Imoinda. It begins in Africa, continues in a slave ship as it crosses the Atlantic – where Oko and Imoinda don’t know that the other is on the ship. It is in Plantation where the lovers find each other again. Plantation begins as Oko and Imoinda land in Cuba and are purchased as slaves. The beautiful Imoinda is a house slave. Oko is sent to work in the fields. They love each other but cannot be together. Plantation brings our story to its very dramatic end.
The award winning Cuban composer and conductor Odaline de la Martinez pursues a demanding and successful career composing – particularly opera, conducting repertoire from Mozart symphonies to the latest contemporary music, and recording CDs often with LORELT and numerous other labels. Martinez was the first woman to conduct a BBC Prom at the RAH in 1984, and has made several return visits since. Martinez has received numerous awards including a Marshall Scholarship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Imoinda, Part I of her Slavery Opera Trilogy was commissioned by the Caribbean Women Writers’ Alliance with funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund. An Opera Grant from Opera America in 2015 allowed her to make the video Selected Scenes from Imoinda. The Crossing Part II her Slavery Opera Trilogy was commissioned by Tulane University and premiered in New Orleans in April 2013, and London in 2014 .