Author: Margarita Zieda
The opera village of Remdoogo is the utopia created by the German action artist, film, opera and theatre director Christoph Schlingensief, which he, already terminally ill, launched with Francis Kéré, an architect from Burkina Faso. The village is set an hour's drive from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on an African plateau surrounded by giant trees and cliffs. The cornerstone to the Opera Village comprising an education centre, hospital and a festival house seating 600 was laid in February 2010, during a ceremony that included an impassioned speech by Schlingensief.
What Schlingensief wanted was to build his own African Bayreuth - far from the metropolitan snobbery, focusing on completely different - spiritually pure - people living in Burkina Faso, one of the world's poorest countries. The first production ever created in the Opera Village was also Schlingensief's last - it was Luigi Nono's Intolleranza. The cornerstone of the opera, buried in the African soil by Christoph Schlingensief seven months before his death, consisted of a thick metallic pipe containing newspapers dated from 8 February 2010 and Super 8 footage of the ten-year old Christoph at his family home in Ruhr. The dream was buried so it would live. The construction of the Opera Village continues.
Keywords: Burkina Faso, Opera House