Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Ogresse @ Edinburgh International Festival
Jazz meets theatre in the song cycle Ogresse, telling the story of a lovesick, ravenous monster who lives in a forest. Salvant drew inspiration from eclectic sources: from a Haitian goddess to the true story of Sarah Baartman – a South African woman exhibited as so-called freakshow attraction in 19th-century Europe.
The narrative of Ogresse resonates in contemporary dialogues about racism, sexism, colonialism and power dynamics. Salvant’s score journeys through 17 songs that blend folk, Baroque, jazz and country. Singing from shifting perspectives, Salvant performs the full work, joined by a 13-piece orchestra of multi-instrumentalists. This is a dark and poignant fairy tale from an original and imaginative composer.