Commissioned by English National Opera with funds from the Gulbenkian Foundation

First performance produced by David Pountney, designed by Maria Björnson and conducted by Mark Elder

  • 3333/4431/timp.4perc/pf.cel.hp/str; on[+]perc/vn.db
  • double chorus
  • Mz, 2T, Bar, B
  • 2 hr 40 min

Programme Note


Opening amid the mayhem of the slave uprising of August 1791 in Haiti, Toussaint L’Ouverture emerges as allpowerful in Saint-Dominigue. He tries vainly to negotiate
with the French, decimates their forces, but is tricked into captivity. After his death in France, the French are routed and the independent black state of Haiti is created.