Premiered in October 2020, Le Vol du Boli was born out of Damon Albarn’s multiple trips to Africa and his meeting with Abderrahmane Sissako. Carried by the voice of Fatoumata Diawara and the energy of musicians from Mali, Congo and Burkina Faso, this show is a tribute and a love song to the African continent and its history.

“An enchanting work” – France info
“Albarn pays a vibrant tribute to the genius of the [African] continent” – Le Monde

The Boli which gives its name to this opera is a magical “fetish”. In the animist Bambara culture of sub-Saharan Africa, it was the most sacred object because it was a source of power.

Passed down from generation to generation, the Boli is a link between the dead and the living as it can contain the relics of lost chiefs. Since the Boli holds the memory of a people, it is through it and its guardian in the museum that we create our history of Africa. A story where magic and materialism confront each other. A story that tells the absurdity and cruelty of the rapprochement between Europe and Africa. “A rapprochement that has not always taken place under good conditions” as Aimé Césaire said. Accompanied by an ancient choir and a female choir, the music composed by Damon Albarn is the metaphor of Boli. Together with the musicians, it embodies its magical power, its “soul”.

Abderrahmane Sissako


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