Operas and Plays From 1944 to 1988

01 Adam and Eve - aka The Garden of Eden 1944 Glover hall Ibere ki ise onise
02 Africa and God 1944 Glover hall Oluwa lo’ni ise aiye
03 Israel in Egypt 1945 Glover hall Oya ka rele
04 Nebuchadnezzar’s Reign and Belshazzar’s Feast or Two Impious Reigns 1945 Glover hall
05 King Solomon 1945 Glover hall
06 Worse than Crime 1945 Glover hall
07 Journey to Heaven (Ibeji Meji) 1945 Glover hall
08 Black Forest (Igbo Irunmale) 1945 Glover hall
09 Strike and Hunger 1945 Glover hall Kobo Ojumo
10 Tiger’s Empire 1946 Glover hall Awa yio bo ajaga
11 Darkness and Light 1946 Glover hall
12 Mr. Devil’s Money (Ayinde) 1946 Glover hall
13 Herbert Macaulay 1946 Glover hall
14 Human Parasites 1946 Glover hall
15 Towards Liberty 1947 Glover hall
16 Swing The Jazz 1947 Glover hall
17 Yours Forever (Morenike) 1948 Glover hall Eiye Ire
18 Half and Half ( S’eranko S’ eniyan) 1949 Glover hall
19 Gold Coast Melodies 1949 Glover hall
20 Bread and Bullet 1950 Glover hall
21 My Darling Fatima 1951 Glover hall
22 Portmanteau Woman 1952 Glover hall
23 Beggar’s Love 1952 Glover hall
24 Highway Eagle 1953 Glover hall
25 Princess Jaja 1953 Glover hall
26 Village Hospital (Ile iwosan) 1957 Glover hall Sisi Onigarawa (1956)
27 Delicate Millionaire (Olowo Ojiji) 1958 Glover hall
28 Song of Unity 1960 Glover hall Song of Unity
29 Yoruba Ronu 1964 Glover hall Yoruba Ronu
30 Aropin N t’ enia 1964 Glover hall Aropin N t’ enia
31 Otito Koro 1964 Glover hall Otito Koro
32 Awo Mimo 1965 Glover hall Awo Mimo
33 Ire Olokun 1968 Glover hall
34 Keep Nigeria One 1968 Glover hall Keep Nigeria One
35 Mama Eko 1968 London Mama Eko, Iyabo
36 Obanta 1969 London Obanta, Ogboroganluda
37 Ogun Pari 1969 London Awon Soja wa, Ogun Pari
38 Oh Ogunde! 1969 London Egbe Ogunde
39 Ewe Nla 1970 Glover hall Ewe Nla
40 Iwa Gbemi 1970 Glover hall Iwa Gbemi
41 Ayanmo 1970 Glover hall Adesewa, Ayanmo
42 Onimoto 1970 Glover hall Ibere ki ise onise
43 K’ ehin Sokun 1971 Obisesan Hall Ibadan
44 Aiye 1972 Glover hall Aiye, Morenike
45 Ekun Oniwogbe 1974 Glover hall Ekun Oniwogbe
46 Ewo Gbeja 1975 Glover hall Ewo Gbeja
47 Muritala Mohammed 1976 Glover hall Muritala Mohammed, Ibrahim Taiwo, Olumona, Omo Ekiti
48 Oree Niwon 1976 Ilorin
49 Nigeria 1977 Glover hall
50 Igba t’ o de 1977 Glover hall Igba t’ o de
51 Orisa N’ la 1977 National Theatre Orisa N’ la
52 Aiye (Film) 1979 National Theatre Movie tracts
53 Jaiyesimi (Film) 1980 National Theatre Movie tracts
54 Aropin N’tenia (Film) 1982 National Theatre Movie tracts
55 Destiny (Ayanmo) Play 1986 National Theatre
56 Ayanmo (Film) 1989 National Theatre Movie tracts

Adam and Eve (1944)

‘The Garden of Eden and the Throne of God (Adam and Eve)’ was Ogunde’ds first opera. Although the title of the opera was in English, the opera itself was in Yoruba . It was first produced on Monday 12th of June 1944 under the aspices of The Church of the Lord (Aladura), Ebute-Metta. It was described as a ‘native air opera’ under the distinguished chairmanship of Mr. Nnamdi Azikiwe M.A, M.Sc . It was co-produced by Kuyinu and it was the first ‘opera’ produced in Nigeria to add costumes, props etc. to a Nigerian opera! It was a biblical opera.


Worse than Crime (1945)

Staged in 1945 and chaired by Late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the opera in Yoruba titled “Worse than rime’. Although the advert for the opera stated ‘Slavery in any shape or form is WORSE THAN CRIME’, it actually was saying ‘colonialism in any shape or form is worse than crime’. Ogunde and his co-producer Kuyinu were detained for two days after the first production of this play by the colonial government and only released for lack of evidence! It was the first time Ogunde will be detained. Many more were to come!.


Journey to Heaven (1945)

The opera ‘Journey to Heaven’ was first produced by Hubert Ogunde on the 30th of July 1945. As was the costum then the title of the opera was English while the opera itself was in Yoruba. It is a play about Yoruba people’s belief in predestination which says that a man’s life is determined by the type of “Ori” he chooses in heaven!.


Black Forest (1945)

The opera ‘Black Forest’ (Igbo Irunmale) was first produced 1945 at the Glover Hall, Lagos and re-produced many times later. Ogunde’s firsy opera with a Yoruba title as the opera itself. The re-production of this opera in 1950 drew rave reviews. One in the Daily Service of 10th January 1950 said among other things “in music, sceneries, lightning, costumes, presentation and make-up, The Black Forest is a credit to the composer-playwright, Mr. Ogunde, who is now generally accepted as the saviour of Native music and drama in Nigeria”.


King Solomon (1945)

The opera titled ‘King Solomon’ was first produced in 1945 at the Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos . It was produced, as was the practice at the time, under the auspices of a church society. The opera was co-produced with Kuyinu who was Ogunde’s co-producer on many of his early opera that were almost all sponsored by one church or another. The opera itself was in Yoruba.


Strike and Hunger (1946)

The opera ‘Strike and Hunger’ was Ogunde’s first ever solo production! It was first produced in 1945 in Yoruba and not sponsored by a church but in response to what was happening in the society. It is Ogunde’s first social commentary, many more would come. “It narrated the events leading to the famous general strike ‘by trade unions for better wages, cost of living allowances and improved condition of service.”. The opera was later banned in Jos, Northern Nigeria in 1946. It is this opera that first shot Ogunde into national prominence.


Herbert Macaulay (1946)

On the 8th of July 1946 , Ogunde produced the opera ‘Herbert Macaulay’ at the Glover Memorial Hall in memory of Late Herbert Macaulay a famous politician and nationalist , who had died in May of that year. Ogunde described the play as ‘an historical play in two acts’ it appers political in character. Judge for yourself! This opera was produced in Yoruba.


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