Angélique Kidjo, composer and lead performer
Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, writer and librettist
Cheryl Lynn Bruce, director
Kerry James Marshall, production designer
Darryl Archibald, music director
Kathy Perkins, lighting designer
Rasean Davonte Johnson, projections designer
Mary Jane Marcasiano, costume designer
Choreographer to be announced 

In her first foray into musical theater, Cal Performances’ 2021–22 season artist-in-residence Angélique Kidjo explores themes of love, betrayal, honor, and revenge against the backdrop of slavery in 19th-century West Africa. Yemandja, named for a Yoruban deity, is a panoramic work of magical realism, a parable about gods and humans that illuminates through song what happens when people are robbed of their culture. Kidjo sings backed by a live band and a chorus of dancer-singers, in a fully staged production directed by Cheryl Lynn Bruce and featuring stage design by the revered Black American visual artist Kerry James Marshall; the libretto is by Kidjo’s daughter, Naïma Hebrail Kidjo. In 2020, Kidjo was honored as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women from around the world, where she was recognized as “one of the greatest artists in international music today.”

This performance is part of Cal Performances’ Illuminations: “Place and Displacement” series.

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Angélique Kidjo
Pictured: Cal Performances’ 2021–22 season artist-in-residence Angélique Kidjo performs Remain in Light on Friday, October 29, 2021 and the West Coast premiere of Yemandja on Saturday, April 23, 2022 as part of Cal Performances' Illuminations: “Place and Displacement” series.
(credit: Courtesy of Angélique Kidjo)