african opera

The light was fading fast, and our cabbie was lost.

A who’s-who of revolutionaries’ names flashed by as we drove around the labyrinthine streets of Maputo.

Avenida Vladimir Lenine. Avenida Karl Marx. And eventually the street we were looking for: Avenida Patrice Lumumba.

Just an hour before I’d received a phone call from a fellow journalist, Clare Richardson.

Did I want to come and photograph the first opera group in Mozambique? Hell, yes.

International opera performers Stella Mendonça and Sonia Mocumbi, the daughter of former prime minister Pascoal Mocumbi, have returned from careers abroad to teach Mozambicans from all walks of life how to sing.

(BTW, her great piece ended up in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago).

So it was we were rushing to find the Universidade Pedagogica – rushing to beat the sunset for an outdoor shoot.

In the end I was only able to shoot off a few frames before the sun set, and the students retreated to the classroom.

Anyway, here’s a few snaps that didn’t make it into the Guardian piece.