Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Malveaux: “2012 Season Opens with 'Bravo Opera Africa'” 10 March, Pretoria, South Africa

John Malveaux of tells us of the opening of the Opera Africa Season on 10 March, 2012:

Opera Africa
2012 Season Opens with
Bravo Opera Africa!

Opera Africa’s first production of 2012 will be a sparkling celebratory affair. Africa’s most dynamic opera company is rolling out the red carpet to present a glittering tribute to everyone who made a contribution to the growth and wealth of this independent living artistic organisation over the past 18 years. This production is an operatic diptych like you’ve never experienced before. The first half of the event showcases Opera Africa has commissioned a brand new indigenous work, the one-act opera Ziyankomo, composed by Phelelani Mnomiya who hails from Durban. It tells the story of an old Zulu legend which resonates on a universal level and will thus be meaningful for contemporary audiences. It’s libretto has been prepared and written by the dynamic prof. Themba Msimang. The hand picked cast represents some of the greatest voices which have made their mark over the past decade, including Opera Africa’s star soprano Kelebogile Boikanyo. Themi Venturas, who has often given the company some of his best work in the past, adapted Ziyankomo for the operatic stage and will also direct the production.

For the second half of this event, “Bravo Opera Africa – A Vocal Triumph,” will be a showcase of extracts from the company’s most memorable productions, including Princess Magogo, Carmen, Faust, The Magic Flute and La Traviata. The stage director for this gala event will be Cape Town’s Angelo Gobbato whose Opera Africa debut, The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, is still a talking point nearly six months after it was presented. Opera Africa invited the crème de la crème of our singers to participate in this historic event, which will also include choruses and ensemble pieces. In both halves of the evening the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by the young American maestro Timothy Myers.

This operatic showcase of our foremost operatic talent can be experienced from 10 March to 31 March 2012 in both Pretoria and Johannesburg. The Pretoria run is staged in the Opera, SA State Theatre, from 10 to 17 March, and in Johannesburg it’s presented in the Nelson Mandela auditorium of the Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein between 23 March and 31 March.

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