Posts Tagged ‘Asnaketch Worku’

The First Lady of Ethiopian Music (Part 2)

April 28, 2011 3 comments

Asnaketch/Addis Journal

In 1952 the Municipality of Addis Ababa launched the first department of music and theatre. Nineteen young men were freshly recruited to form the core foundation. Help and inspiration in the theatrical and musical field came from dedicated trainers like Yoftawi Neguse, Mekonen Endalkatchew (then Prime Minister), Kevrork Nalbandian and his nephew Nerses Nalbandian.
Soon two talented young men, Tesfaye Tesema and Asfaw Tefera, wrote and produced “Ye Fikir Chora” (Rays of Love), the first proper modern Ethiopian theatre that told a story through dance and music. There was not yet a female actress who could play the female role. The Municipality Theater by then had a few female vocalists and folk dancers but was missing a proper actress who could play a role in a theatrical production, a foreign innovation. In the few theatre performances that had been staged previously, the women’s roles were played by male actors in female attire.

Find the full story at the Ethiopia Observer.

The First Lady of Ethiopian Music

March 23, 2011 15 comments

Like eyerusalem and Axum Tsion
I saluted before his eyes and his teeth.
Woe unto me to fall for one who can’t be disclosed.
What mess did I involve myself in?
Loving one who belongs to someone else.
Have I come to yearn for him and even his wife at the same time!

Extract from “Ende Eyerusalem” (Like Jerusalem)

She has a combination of emotional depth and versatility.With a voice capable of evoking the joys and pains of life, she has carved a niche as a vocalist, Kirar player, theater actress, and storyteller for over 50 years. Today, 78-year-old and in frail health, Asnaketch Worku remains a living music legend, undoubtedly one of the most important singers in the history of Ethiopian music.

Asnakech Worku/Addis Journal

Asnaketch’s deep, rich voice, with her own Kirar (6 stringed bowed plucked lyre) accompaniment, has thrilled audiences for decades. Her tersely poetic, mournful songs and easily remembered melodies touched people’s emotions. Her appearance is striking as well. She usually wears elegantly that matched with her great beauty. Read more…