Serge Kakudji is a twenty-year-old Congolese counter tenor who fell in love with opera as a young boy, listening to audiotapes of opera recordings in his room in Lubumbashi. Later he traveled to Europe to achieve his dream of becoming a top opera singer. Although Serge's artistic ambitions are pure and uncomplicated, the reactions among his environment and audiences are often ambiguous and divided. While some people respect and acknowledge his artistic vocation, others see him as an exotic oddity, or complain that that his African timbre jars with classical opera. Serge refuses to be discouraged by any of this. On the contrary, he wants to hold up a mirror to Western culture and confront it with its underlying beliefs. He also wants to use his story and experiences in the west to bring opera to Congo. Together with his countrymen and women, he wants to found a Congolese opera tradition based on African stories that will inspire people to follow their dreams.
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