Paul Robeson – In Memoriam


Experience the life, times and music of “Ol’ Man River” himself, Paul Robeson, performed at Cafeteatret, Oslo, premiering today. The play is written by Jason Nemor Harden and Cliff A. Moustache.

“No one told us about Paul Robeson when I was growing up in Texas in the 80’s!” says Jason Nemore Harden who is starring in the play “Ol Man River”. “Robeson has been a great inspiration to people all over the world, but we did not hear anything about him.” He is adding.

“Yes, it makes me sad in a way, or frustrated, but it also provides inspiration and motivation to work with the notion that more people may know about Robeson’s life and work”

Jason Nemor Harden in "Motown Revisited" at Norwegian Opera. Photo: Monica Santos Herberg
Jason Nemor Harden in “Motown Revisited” at Norwegian Opera. Photo: Monica Santos Herberg

Actor, singer and musician, Jason Nemore Harden was first acquainted with Paul Robeson when he worked at Nordic Black Theatre’s “Tribute to the Heroes” which was performed at The Norwegian Opera and Ballet in February 2014.

“After that I started reading about Robeson and soon realized that this was a show I wanted to do to convey his story and music.”

Paul Robeson is more or less forgotten today, but in his time he was one of the world’s greatest artists. The Afro-American entertainer and civil rights activist managed to lift his music from small local scenes in the United States to the most renowned stages across the world. He used his position to fight against the violent racism in the United States.

Harden was so inspired that he along with film maker Cliff A. Moustache prepared the script for this performance. This has become an intimate and moving story of Paul Robeson’s life and music, and the challenges he battled through a lifetime.

Robeson was educated lawyer before becoming a football player and artist. This he managed despite heavy segregation in the United States. Discipline and hard work took him to the top in the United States and on the world before his career was brutally stopped by McCarthyism and the CIA witch hunt for communists. He refused to change his opinions, which made him even more popular in the world.

Robeson was an inspiration for the next generation of freedom fighters such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

The show is about Paul Robeson’s life and his music in a difficult time in America. The main role is played by the Afro-American musician Jason Nemore Harden, accompanied by Jerelene de Leon on piano and Tove Erikstad on Cello.

161114-alston-drawing-of-paul-robesonEditorial Drawing of Paul Robeson by artist, Charles H. Alston 1943

“This amazing man, this great intellect, this magnificent genius and his everlasting love for humanity is a devastating challenge to a society built on hypocrisy, greed and profit-seeking at the expense of common humanity.” (New York Times)

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the show, performed at Cafeteatret, Hollendergate 8, Oslo at 7:30 pm on the following dates in October: 16, 17, 18, 23 and 24.