OPERAS

G. PUCCINI
LA BOHÈME

FEBRUARY 14, 16, 18, 20, 22
ARTSCAPE THEATRE

Impoverished but inspired, Puccini’s young Bohemians make art, quarrel, make up, break up, and make believe that there will always be another tomorrow – never imagining that their frail friend Mimi will not live to see the final days of summer.  Matthew Wild’s
innovative production, which premiered to widespread critical claim in Switzerland in 2018, comes to Cape Town.  Told as flashbacks of the elderly painter Marcello, the production movingly contrasts the impetuousness of youth with the regrets of old age.

Filled with Giacomo Puccini’s soaring melodies, this production stars tenor Galeano Salas alongside returning South Africans Sarah-Jane Brandon, William Berger, Thesele Kemane, Luvo Rasemeni and features unexpected contributions from much-loved Cape Town singers Aviva Pelham and Brad Liebl. Jeremy Silver conducts the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra with set design by Kathrin Frosch, costume design by Ingo Krugler, lighting design by Kobus Rossouw and choreography by Louisa Talbot.

‘THE DIRECTING TEAM TRANSLATES ITS INTERPRETATION WITH EXCITING GIMMICKS AND IMPRESSIVE CONSISTENCY AND CLARITY, WITHOUT EVER FORGETTING WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE CENTER: PUCCINI AND HIS MUSIC.’
BERNER ZEITUNG

IN COLLABORATION WITH KONZERT THEATER BERN

TICKET PRICES R150 – R325
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Sponsored by Business & Arts South Africa, the City of Cape Town, National Lotteries Commission, the Rupert Music Foundation, Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

L. VAN BEETHOVEN
FIDELIO IN CONCERT

MARCH 27 & 29
ARTSCAPE OPERA HOUSE

Fidelio, Ludwig van Beethoven’s sole opera, speaks passionately about the composer’s deeply held beliefs about freedom and liberty — views that would be further underscored in the composer’s Ninth Symphony, with its choral finale set to Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”. Fidelio tells the story of a young woman, Leonora/Fidelio, who goes undercover as a young male prison warden where her husband, Florestan, is unjustly being kept prisoner. Fidelio’s plan is to find a way to — somehow — free her husband. The opera is based (admittedly loosely) on a true story known to Beethoven’s librettist. With its stirring choruses and soaring vocal ensemble music, Fidelio is a perfect opera for a performance in concert. This production is being performed in honour of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, as well as in commemoration of South Africa’s Human Rights Day. Fidelio and its message of freedom was first performed in 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of a democratic South Africa by Cape Town Opera in the actual exercise yard of the Robben Island prison. Johanni van Oostrum will sing her first Leonore, Mandisinde Mbuyazwe appears as prison governor Don Pizzaro, and Brittany Smith sings the role of Marzelline. Amy Jephta has written new narrations especially for this production, and Maestro Jeremy Silver will conduct the Cape Town Philharmonic in this vast work.

TICKET PRICES R100 – R280
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Sponsored by the City of Cape Town and the Rupert Music Foundation.

W.A. MOZART
COSÌ FAN TUTTE

IN COLLABORATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN OPERA SCHOOL

AUGUST 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
BAXTER THEATRE

Cos​​ì fan tutte, literally, “Thus do all (women) do it”, or, sometimes, “The School for Lovers”, is one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s great comic works. It argues all women are ultimately fickle in love, and is balanced between a story of comic improbability based on clever disguises, and a more serious, even cynical, commentary on the inevitability of human frailty. In brief, two young naval officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, boast that their girlfriends will remain loyal to them no matter what happens. Their older friend, Don Alfonso, conspires to prove the two young men to be wrong in their innocent boasts. This production is directed by South African Steven Stead and features the Cape Town Opera Young Artists and the talented singers from the University of Cape Town Opera School. UCT Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Jeremy Silver.

TICKET PRICES R150 – R250
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Sponsored by the Rupert Music Foundation and the University of Cape Town Opera School.

E.HUMPERDINCK
HANSEL UND GRETEL

NOVEMBER 11, 13, 15, 18, 21
ARTSCAPE THEATRE

Hansel and Gretel, the opera, is based on the popular folktale compiled and published by the folklorists, the Brothers Grimm. The opera’s composer, Engelbert Humperdinck, was a disciple of Richard Wagner and had actually worked with Wagner at Bayreuth. Understandably, Humperdinck’s work is often labelled Wagnerian. It uses leitmotifs, but individual arias and duets — such as “The Children’s Prayer” — can stand alone, unlike the more flowing “endless melody” of Wagner’s own works. This opera has become one of the very few operas on a children’s tale that has achieved popularity with adults as well as children. It is unusual in that the roles of both of the children, as well as the other leads, save for the children’s father, are all sung by women. While the opera is based on a children’s tale, this Cape Town Opera production draws on a darker, richer emotional palette than the usual productions of the work. Cape Town Opera Young Artists Brittany Smith will sing the role of Gretel, Ane Pretorius will be Hansel, and returning South African Jenni Bank will appear as both the children’s mother and the witch.

TICKET PRICES R150 – R250
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Sponsored by the Rupert Music Foundation.

CURLEW RIVER AND
AMAGOKRA (HEROES)

20 & 22 MAY, 19:30
THE NOVALIS UBUNTU INSTITUTE, KENILWORTH

Asanda Chuma Sopotela
Sibusiso Njeza

New operas are often inspired by an intense personal relationship to universal ideas. Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River, based on a Japanese noh play about a mother’s loss of a child and her redemption through spirituality, is paired with a new South African opera about women’s strength through ordeal, composed by Sibusiso Njeza and written by Asanda Chuma Sopotela. These two operas, sung in English and isiXhosa, are ideal platforms for young African opera soloists from the University of Cape Town Opera School and Cape Town Opera Young Artists Programme to explore contemporary themes and musical styles of the 20th and 21st centuries.

TICKET PRICES: R80
BOOK THROUGH CAPE TOWN OPERA OFFICE

IN COLLABORATION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN OPERA SCHOOL

Sponsored by the City of Cape Town, the Rupert Music Foundation, University of Cape Town Opera School and the African Culture Fund

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