"WILD FLOWER" is an opera based on the true story of a Romanian girl in Africa, written by the heroine, Nina Smart, a Sierra Leonean refugee who fled FGM and dedicated her life to raising awareness about this human rights violation.
Young Geanina is asked to choose between her Romanian family and a stranger, her biological father, a diplomat from Africa.
Her choices send her spiraling towards initiation into a secret society where girls have to undergo female genital mutilation – FGM.
While in Africa, Nigeria teaches her how to be rebellious, Sierra Leone tests her courage and Geanina carves her own destiny by fleeing to America. Wild Flower explores themes of power in tradition, patriarchy, race, heritage, love, womanhood, West/Non-West, migration, and body politics.
CREATED AND CONCEIVED BY
Wild Flower the opera is a project of the International Brazilian Opera Company developed in partnership with the Nina Smart. We've asked you to visit this page because you may be capable of assisting in the commission, donation, and sponsorship for this significant Women and Human Rights story. Let's start a conversation to advance American opera with diverse representation. With your help, the opera will be premiered in 2024.
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Dr. Nina smart is a human rights activist,
sociologist, author, and poet working to educate
people about female genital mutilation (FGM)
and to eradicate the practice in sierra leone
and the globe.
Smart’s unique biography, places her inside and outside of
Sierra Leonean culture, allowing her to make important
inroads in Sierra Leone. In 2004, Dr. Smart founded
Servicing Wild Flowers –SWF International, a non-profit
NGO that raises awareness about FGM.
Women Empowerment Initiative at UC Irvine launched
her memoir, Wild Flower: the True Story of
a Romanian Girl in Africa, in 2014.
Dr. Nina Smart was chosen as 2016 ‘Woman of the Year’
for her non-profit work by Senator Mendoza of
California. In 2018, the City of Downey recognized
Dr. Smart with the Coordinating Council Volunteer
Award. Her artistic efforts were recognized by
the Romanian Ministry of Culture. Dr. Smart,
a Soroptimist, inspires action by sharing her story and
solutions to end FGM non-violently.
Artistic Director of IBOC and Resident composer,
JoÃo MacDowell will apply his praxis of polyculturalism
and polyharmony to incorporate romanian, nigerian
and sierra leonean music into the composition for
Wild Flower. Noted by the Swedish press as “a new thinker
in the genre” (Johanna Paulsson, Dagens Nyheter),
the Brazilian composer has a career that spans from
punk to opera. João MacDowell had his first Symphony
premiered by the National Orchestra of Brasilia and is
the author of five operas, including Tamanduá
(Boston Metropolitan Opera Award), Plastic Flowers,
and The Seventh Seal with libretto
by the late Ingmar Bergman.
award-winning creative director, photographer,
and, iboc executive director, Athena Azevedo,
will oversee the team, visual concept,
and development of the new work.