“One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain…”
As a boy growing up in Jamaica, the music of Bob Marley had a great influence on my life. Although he had so many memorable songs, those words capture the importance of music to all of us as Caribbean people. Music unites the region in a way that rarely is seen in other parts of the world and continues to be a positive force, especially among young people. Bob Marley’s brand of positive music still resonates with all of us and continues to provide inspiration to a generation of young artists throughout the Caribbean.
Trinidad and Tobago has its own rich tradition of music that continues to evolve, and which it shares with the rest of the region. This happens through artists who create local music and those, like the Marionettes Chorale, who perform a mix of musical genres.
The Marionettes has become an institution in Trinidad and Tobago by using music as a force for positive change. I always look forward to their annual concerts because they reinforce the idea that music can bring together cultures and generations. One of the more interesting points about the Marionettes is their focus on developing young artists who can carry on this tradition.
Although this is my first opportunity to bring greetings to the Marionettes, I am in fact continuing a tradition that stretches back over 30 years. BPTT began its partnership with Marionettes in 1972, and although there have been many changes to the company over the past 30-odd years, our commitment to Marionettes has endured. This is primarily because we share the belief that arts and culture can be used as a powerful agent for self development.
Carmen is itself an institution, having endured for over a century. The lesson here is that great work will endure the test of time. That is something that resonates for me. My leadership at bpTT is driven by the belief that everything we do must be sustainable over the long-term. Our work impacts not just this generation but generations to come.
The Marionettes is an example of enduring commitment and long-term impact. Through their focus on developing young talent, they are bringing Carmen to a new generation, giving young performers an appreciation of this classic and sowing the seeds for future productions by the younger generation.
I am confident that Marionettes will bring the usual professionalism and energy to their production of Carmen and I look forward to their performances.
So hit me with music!
– Norman Christie
President & CEO, bpTT