28 June 2008

Ethiopiques | Barbican | 27 June 2008

World premier at the Barbican Theatre, London, 27 June


Gétachew Mekurya, Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Esheté, Mulatu Astatqé and most of Either/Orchestra


Mahmoud Ahmed


Alemayehu Esheté,


Gétachew Mekurya


Mulatu Astatqé



A great concert, high on warmth, emotion, and enthusiasm. A little under-rehearsed at times (a rather wobbly beginning and a few gaps here and there), this was the first time the backing orchestra had performed with the Ethiopiques stars Alemayehu Esheté, apart from a 9-hour rehearsal the day before.

Nevertheless as the concert progressed, and each successive soloist outperformed his predeccessor, it all came together with a creditable rendition of the Ethiopiques sound backing some extraordinary performances. Mahmoud Ahmed stole the night with his tremendous voice and engagement with the audience.

(Thanks for the clarification, below.)


  1. Actually, the Either/Orchestra has worked with several of the Ethiopian performers before. Volume 20 of the Ethiopiques series is their live recording with Gétachew Mekurya and Mulatu Astatqé (among others).

    It was just Alemayehu Esheté that they had not played with before, and just had that one rehearsal day to prepare.

    Comment by dashford — 30 June 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  2. […] performing on stage for the first time together in the UK – ever. Someone has been wonderful about blogging some pix of the concert. The whole set is at […]

    Pingback by Ethiopiques in London — 2 July 2008 @ 4:20 am

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