Unogumbe follows the plot of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde opera closely but moves the action from medieval England to present-day South Africa, where the background and poverty of the township is a striking metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man. Sung in Xhosa, with subtitles in medieval English, it is completely re-scored for African instruments. Noye is now a woman and has to deal with a drunken husband, hold her family together as well as build the Ark and collect the animals. The opera is a tale for children; however the threat of global warming and its consequences make the flood seem a closer reality, and maybe a fitting end for man if he continues to display inhumanity and a lack of care for the world.
Work of the Week. Here is the complete film: