Four notable South African composers have teamed up with four acclaimed writers to create half hour works that are powerful and innovative, telling contemporary African stories in imaginative new ways.
Presented by Cape Town Opera in collaboration with the UCT Opera School, the four new home-grown operas; The Application, Blood of Mine, Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa and Anti-Laius will be onstage at the Artscape Theatre on 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th November, 2015. This project is made possible by a R5.7m National Lotteries Commission (NLC) grant which Cape Town Opera used to fund the creation of new works and develop opera in 2015. Four:30 is also supported by Rand Merchant Bank and Business and Arts South Africa.
“We must constantly create new operas,” says conductor Kamal Khan. “There are so many exciting new singers being discovered in South Africa, but what will they sing? They should be able to sing their own stories.”
“For most artists working in the field of opera, the majority of our time is spent reviving classics by long-dead composers,” adds CTO Artistic Director Matthew Wild. “So it’s a real thrill to bring a brand new work to life for the first time in collaboration with a composer and a librettist. New works are a vital ingredient in keeping the art form of opera vital and relevant.”
Patrons are invited to enjoy a different, but immersive theatre experience, in the company of world class singers where seating for this production is onstage and not in the auditorium.
To add to this unique experience, R200 will buy you a ticket to the opera and cheese and wine, which will be served during the interval. Opera tickets only, are priced at R170. Tickets can be purchased online at Computicket.com as well as at all Computicket outlets.
On 26 November, professional South African Sign Language interpreters will be in attendance in order to make the performance accessible to the Deaf audience. There will also be specialised Deafblind interpreting services to ensure full participation by Deafblind audience members.
“It’s wonderful that Cape Town Opera (CTO) and the UCT Opera School are investing time, money and effort into developing a revitalised repertoire by constantly feeding it with fresh inspiration. These little ‘bonsai operas’ are a great way of appealing to new audiences and developing new voices. It is a thrilling challenge to strip opera down to the essentials: story, music and voice,” says Michael Williams, CTO Managing Director.