A F R I C A N    M E S S I A H


                                                               THE PROJECT

                                                                African Messiah is a new celebratory

                                                                work by the composer, Tunde Jegede,

                                                                based on the themes and melodies of

                                                                Handel’s Messiah but seen through a

                                                                uniquely African musical worldview. It is

                                                                a piece that draws on African and

                                                                European classical traditions as it follows

                                                                the story of the messiah in parallel to the

                                                                story of African people bringing together

                                                                their music with baroque and opera for    

                                                                the first time.

                                                                African Messiah is an oratorio that brings together some of the finest international singers, musicians and ensembles for a unique rendition of Handel’s Messiah, taking it into a completely new realm. Bringing in instruments such as the Kora (Harp-lute) and Riti (African Violin makes the work a more multi-faith and universal experience, in keeping with our times, but without losing the essence of the original ideology. With African percussion and choir, alongside opera soloists and string quartet, African Messiah is truly a sound of our times.


The African Messiah Project began with a showcase at the Victoria & Albert Museum which marked the beginning of a collaboration between leading opera soloists, the African Classical Music Ensemble and the Samadhi String Ensemble inspired by the music of Handel’s Messiah. Out of this work Tunde created a new work that drew influences from the medieval music of the kora, baroque music, opera and contemporary artforms of the African Diaspora.  

Following its warm reception Tunde was invited by the eminent visual artist, Yinka Shonibare to develop it into a full production for the Deloitte International Festival at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where it was premiered and rapturously received with critical acclaim for its innovation both in form and style. To see the film of the Royal Opera House production press here