Booking has opened for a landmark event on our music calendar – the world premiere staging of Ubuntu – The Opera by Durban-based composer Juan Burgers. Funded by the National Lotteries Commission and presented under the auspices of Esayidi FET College in collaboration with Bravo Africa Entertainment, the production has five performances scheduled in the Playhouse Opera Theatre between 17 and 22 November 2015.
An early bird booking incentive of 15% discount is valid until 16 October. Tickets from R120 (R90 scholars, students and pensioners) are available at Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively, call the Playhouse box office on 031-369 9540 (office hours).
Presented as a 21st anniversary salute to South Africa’s Democracy, Burgers’ heroic opera is set to a libretto which focuses on key events in the struggle against apartheid, with the iconic roles of Nelson Rolihlaha Mandela and Winnie Madikizela Mandela seen as its figureheads. They share the stage with other struggle icons such as Nkosi Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, among others.
Aside from the principal cast, the production features a powerhouse chorus of some 60 singers who will perform with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lykele Temmingh. With Burgers as its creative and artistic director, vocal coach and repetiteur and Raphael Vilakazi as its executive producer, Ubuntu – The Opera is directed, designed and choreographed by David Krugel.
Principal casting includes soprano Charlotte Mhlongo as Gaia, with tenors Thamsanqa Mqaba and Simphiwe Mkhatshwa alternating as Ubuntu. Baritones Monde Masimini and Njabulo Mthimkhulu share the role of Nelson Mandela, and sopranos Khumbuzile Dlamini and Nomsa Mpofu alternate singing Winnie Mandela; baritones Musa Ndadane and Tamsanqa Khaba share the role of Albert Luthuli, Richard Salmon plays Judge Quartus de Wet; Raimondo van Staden appears as Braam Fischer, and tenor Cobus Venter appears as the public prosecutor, Percy Yutar. Zakhona Biyase sings Zindzi Mandela and Azola Mabutho sings Swanepoel.
For updates about this ground-breaking new work, log onto www.ubuntutheopera.net or visit www.facebook.com/ubuntutheopera or follow us on Twitter @UbuntuTheOpera