Barbados - Holders Season- Inkle and Yarico

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Inkle and Yarico is a Barbadian Opera first written and performed in the 1880's. After 170 years the opera is being revived at Holders Season which runs from March 6th to March 29th, 1997.

The story of Inkle and Yarico is one of deception and love. It begins with Inkle being saved from death on the Spanish Main by the Amerindian maiden Yarico. Yarico falls in love with Inkle, who takes her to Barbados and sells her as a slave.

The story was first recorded by Ligon in 1657 and was later recounted by a Barbadian Planter, Sir Richard Steele in 1711. Seventy-six years later, the English playwright George Coleman the Younger, along with Dr.Arnold, produced a three-act opera, Inkle and Yarico. The Opera was an immediate success and was performed over 172 times at Covent Gardens and the Haymarket theatres from 1787 to 1800 alone. It was also performed in New York, Calcutta and Jamaica, however it has not been performed since approximately 1830.

The revival of Inkle and Yarico is due in large part to Barbadian historian, Kevyn Arthur, who rediscovered the opera and suggested that it be a part of the Holders Season. Roxanna Panufnik,a young classical composer is responsible for re-orchestration of the music and she is assisted by Eddy Grant, who has been a major influence in Caribbean music for a number of years. Jonathan Moore is the director of the opera.

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