Suppressed music: Settling silenced scores

Sunday 19th June

Opera singer Peter Brathwaite discusses bringing to the stage music banned by fascists and voices oppressed by the slave trade.


The Nazis used the term degenerate to describe the music, art, literature and films declared “un-German” and banned in a mass aesthetic cleansing campaign during the 1930s.

Opera singer, broadcaster and Royal College of Music alumnus Peter Brathwaite believes classical music and opera can provide some restorative justice for these suppressed scores and silenced voices. As a Black musician, he felt compelled to respond artistically to this shameful period of European history, and a recital of the music banned by the Nazis eventually became a cabaret show – Effigies of Wickedness – an English National Opera and Gate theatre co-production presenting the terrible truths and glorious music of those stifled voices.

At the Great Exhibition Road Festival, Brathwaite will discuss his ground-breaking exploration and celebration of suppressed music, as well as previewing his latest project – bringing to the Opera stage the life of Pero Jones, an enslaved man who was brought to Bristol in the late 18th century.

This event is part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival: Trailblazers.