When in 1802 Napoleon sent his Polish soldiers to quench a rebellion in French-occupied Haiti, they ended up fighting sucessfully for Haitian independence. Descendants of Polish Haitians — who were given citizenship as a result — still exist. Against the backdrop of Poland’s own occupation, meanwhile, Stanisław Moniuszko wrote the opera Halka, steeped in Polish folk culture. C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska link these narratives, bringing Halka to Haiti, and exploring the (un)fixed nature of national identity. Can Polish culture resonate in such a far-off location? Moreover, can opera, often deemed an ossified relic, in fact carry radical potential as it did in Moniuszko’s day?