Libretto by Deborah Brevoort; music by Errollyn Wallen
The year is 1780. The place, London, England. The British have lost the War of Independence in the American colonies. Juba Freeman, who fled a Carolina plantation where he was enslaved in order to fight for the British against his American oppressors, arrives in London and tries to build a new life for himself. He meets Amelia Alumond, an idealistic, young, upper-class Black woman, who is involved in a charity set up to help the ex-slaves who have arrived on England’s shores. Based on historical events, the opera takes us into the worlds of these two little-known Black communities in England during the late 18th century. Quamino’s Map is an opera about the enduring pull of freedom and the ends to which people will go to achieve it.
“Best picks.” — Chicago Daily Herald
“Historically eye-opening, artfully realized… a powerful and poetic exploration of the quest for freedom.” — WTTW News
“A unique and important work for our time.”— Hyde Park Herald
“The opera’s poetic lyricism is one of its main distinctions.”— Picture This Post.
“Quamino’s Map” is a fresh, engrossing story told in an intelligent and captivating way. It turns a largely forgotten slavery episode into a memorable opera.” — Chicago Sun Times
“Truly fantastic…a beautifully written love letter to, and chronical of, true, often neglected Black history. Librettist Deborah Brevoort’s lyrics in tandem with Wallen’s riveting music elevates this tale.” — Paige Eight
“A richly layered look at another London that has mostly been unspoken… Quamino’s Map” pulls the curtain back on Black life during the Georgian era.” – Third Coast Review
“Quamino’s Map….is a polished, fully formed contemporary opera. Deborah Brevoort’s fleet libretto… nicely balances the storyline’s poignant and comic elements. Quamino’s Map …deserves to be heard. The best of COT’s season by yards.” — Opera News
Commissioned by the Chicago Opera Theater.