Madame Theremin - A New Afrofuturist Opera

Help Fund the New Opera Madame Theremin - An Afrofuturist Fantasy For Our Times

Bringing an opera to life is a collaborative effort. Won't you become a part of this exciting project? Our initial fundraising effort is directed at staging a workshop production in early 2022 -- a vital step in a long process that will bring the opera to the general public in 2023. Your contribution of any amount will go toward paying singers and musicians, renting rehearsal and performance space, and defraying travel costs associated with the workshop.

Lavinia Williams (the real Madame Theremin) came of age during the Harlem Renaissance (the 1920s-1930s) and let nothing stand in her way. She was a Black ballet dancer when ballet was strictly whites-only. Barely out of her teens she married a white man, causing a huge scandal. Her husband was Leon Theremin, the Russian electronic music pioneer. His invention -- the theremin, whose eerie sound became a signature of science fiction movies -- is an instrument played from a distance, through the shaping an electromagnetic force field with one's fingers.

The marriage did not last long. Leon was forced to return to Stalin's Russia where like thousands of others he was sent to the gulag. Lavinia continued her dance career specializing in Afro-Caribbean styles. A much beloved teacher, she eventually opened a school of dance in Haiti.

While based on actual events, the opera Madame Theremin weaves a fantasy venturing into the surreal. Powerful forces are evoked. Ancestral spirits watch over the action. Time is turned in on itself. It ends on a note of joy, as Lavinia encounters her muse in the traditions and spirituality of her African ancestors.

We're confident Madame Theremin will resonate with a wide and diverse audience. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey. Please visit our website for more information and musical previews.

Donations (29)

  • Leeann Lavin
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Todd Barton
    • $100 
    • 7 mos
  • Jacqueline Masdon
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Eileen Ekstract
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Janene Kaza
    • $35 
    • 2 yrs


George Kopp
Santa Fe, NM

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