Living History: A Concert in the Wildlife Hall

By November 1, 2019

Last week I was able to realize an endeavor I had been working on for over a year: a unique concert inside the beautiful Botswana Wildlife Hall at the Museum. Living History was a first-of-its kind event that featured a concert of a classical masterwork and a concert reading of the musical that I’ve been developing during my fellowship at the Denver Center

In partnership with Groupmuse and DMNS, this “Massivemuse” multi-disciplinary concert explored through music and theatre how human and natural history are constantly reshaped.

The first part of the evening featured a classical performance of two Sonatas from 18th Century composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges — an Afro-European virtuoso who was a rival of Mozart (and shared his patrons). His riveting story has been largely forgotten, but it was be revived with a special performance by Stephen Brackett of the Flobots to introduce the music.

Stephen Brackett -- Living History at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Stephen Brackett of the Flobots performs a rap about the life of Chevalier de St. George

The second part of the evening featured a 75 min concert presentation of my musical-in-development My Country, My Country, a piece on the true story of Congolese independence during the Cold War and the Western-led Cold War assassination of one of the greatest politicians in African History: Patrice Lumumba. The musical will featured 13 actor-vocalists and an ensemble band of 7 musicians.

Rajdulari, Erica Brown, Camryn Torres at Living History -- Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Living History -- Denver Museum of Nature and Science Brenton Weyi -- Living History at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

In total, there were 20 performers involved in the evening.

Finally, the museum presented African zoological and cultural artifacts rarely shared with the public for attendees to interact with, and we created a couple of experiential activities for the audience to engage with the theme.

It was a really powerful evening at the Museum and I’m incredibly grateful for all of the collaborators that helped bring the evening to life.

Author Brenton Weyi

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