Chief Hijangua

World premiere of Namibia's first opera 

On September 9, 2022, a group of artists from Namibia, Germany and South Africa performed the country's first opera in Windhoek, Namibia. The piece "Chief Hijangua" celebrates a bilingual premiere at the National Theatre of Namibia - in Otjiherero, one of the national languages, as well as in German.

  

Young talents need knowledgeable partners who believe in them. In the "Opera-Namibia" project, it was the bilingual approach, and the musical diversity of the opera "Chief Hijangua" that convinced us. And then, of course, there is the courage and the drive of this young team to set up such a unique project across national borders. Added to this is the approach of thinking of opera in a completely different way. All this deserves all our respect and support.  
Stephan Frucht, artistic director of the Siemens Arts Program

 

In the play "Chief Hijangua", the Namibian chief's son Hijangua, unhappily in love, has to leave his homeland. On his wanderings, he meets a group of German missionaries who initially take him in. When the young man returns to his village, the story takes a tragic course.

  

The opera was developed by a transnational team of artists around the Namibian composer and singer Eslon Hindundu as well as the German director Kim Mira Meyer and the German author Nikolaus Frei. 

 

The artistic team was inspired by Namibia's colonial history and traditional folk tales of the country. Following the world premiere in Windhoek, a performance is also planned in Germany in 2023.