Headshots of poet Porsha Olayiwola and composer Mason Bynes

The Wanderer’s Tethering

April 6, 2024 | 3:00 PM

Following their presentation of selections from Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ opera “Omar” at the Prior in spring 2023, the Boston Lyric Opera returns with a newly commissioned work. The song cycle “The Wanderer’s Tethering” combines poetry by Boston Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola and music by Boston-based composer, vocalist, and multimedia artist Mason Bynes. It follows the story of Tobi, a descendant of the Igbo community whose members were stolen from modern-day Nigeria and led a revolt on the shores of Georgia in 1803. Bynes’ music merges Negro spirituals and Igbo folkloric music, reflecting the transformation experienced by the contemporary protagonist as she claims her own identity. The program will also include stirring selections of chamber music by Castle of Our Skins.


Poetry by Porsha Olayiwola
Music by Mason Bynes
Commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera With Lead Commissioning Support by Merrill Family Charitable Foundation
Premiered by Boston Lyric Opera in June 2023

“Porsha’s libretto pierced my soul as far as identity is concerned… Especially the idea of not knowing where you come from because all records of your story were burned or destroyed.”
— Mason Bynes


April 6, 2024
3:00 PM


$45 | $30 | $20

Presented by

The Prior Performing Arts Center

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