NASPERS Centenary Gift Keeps the Nation Singing

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Noluvuyiso Mpofu plays the passionate Maria at the first performance on 7 November 2015. The role will be played by Maudée Montierre on 8 November. Photo credit: Bernard Bruwer.
Noluvuyiso Mpofu plays the passionate Maria at the first performance on 7 November 2015. The role will be played by Maudée Montierre on 8 November. Photo credit: Bernard Bruwer.

In celebration of its centenary, Naspers has awarded a donation of R5.2m to Cape Town Opera in support of its 2015-2018 Grand Opera Master series.

The funds will support three initiatives: the mounting of three fully-staged operas and a concert, outreach and training of CTO singers and orchestral services from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

“We acknowledge the excellence of the city’s two major performing arts companies; Cape Town Opera and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. We hope our donation helps to ensure the long term sustainability of the only full time opera and orchestra companies in Southern Africa and revitalise local classical opera audiences.” said Esmare Weideman, Media24 CEO.

At the heart of the Cape Town Opera’s success is its chorus, recipient of the 2013 International Best Opera Chorus award. Cape Town Opera will therefore mount three productions of great choral operas during the 2016-2018 period, in collaboration with the Cape Town Philharmonic orchestra, as well as the semi-staged performance of Maria Stuarda on 7 and 8 November 2015.

Naspers and Cape Town Opera in collaboration with the UCT Opera School, proudly presents Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at Artscape for two riveting performances.

The best award winning local voices will shine in this powerful story filled with spite, ambition and jealousy. Donizetti and Schiller give us the greatest confrontation history never saw, that between the Queen Elizabeth 1 and Mary, Queen of Scots. Banned by the Royal Court of Naples and censored at La Scala as too-hot-to-handle, this riveting examination of the pride and frailties of the people who lead our destinies leaps off the page.

On alternating nights, Cape Town favourites Noluvuyiso Mpofu (bronze winner in Placido Domingo’s 2015 Operalia competition, finalist in the 34th International Belvedere Competition and winner of the 2015 ATKV Music Competition) and Maudée Montierre (winner of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for Singers as well as the Eric Chisholm Memorial Prize for Opera) embody the passionate Maria, as Bongiwe Nakani (performed in 2012 for world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday) and multi-award winning mezzo-soprano, Violina Anguelov plumb the depths of Elisabetta’s psyche. Lukhanyo Moyake and Makudupanyane Senaoana return from recent European triumphs to sing Leicester; George Stevens’ rich baritone voice and the award winning Cape Town Opera chorus adds to this stellar cast.

Recognised as containing some of Donizetti’s most moving music, this semi-staged production of Maria Stuarda is directed by acclaimed director, Matthew Wild (CTO’s newly appointed Artistic Director, who also recently directed West Side Story), and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Maestro Kamal Khan.

The beautiful stylized Elizabethan costumes are made of the richest fabrics with large intricate lace collars, beautiful silks and taffetas designed by Maritha Visagie with set design by Michael Mitchell and lighting by Kobus Rossouw.

The superb voices set to Donizetti’s mesmerising music under the care and attention of a world-class creative team makes for superlative entertainment. The two semi-staged performances of Maria Stuarda at Artscape this November are not-to-be-missed! Book now to avoid disappointment.

This year’s season culminates with the staging of FOUR: 30, which introduces four new home-grown operas on one bill at the Artscape Theatre from 21 to 28 November. Funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, these short operas proudly showcase South Africa’s finest and freshest operatic talent, setting the tone for even-greater opera performances in 2016.

Tickets for all performances can be purchased online at Computicket.com as well as at all Computicket outlets.

Founded in 1915, Naspers is a broad-based multinational internet and media group offering services in more than 130 countries. Its principal operations are in ecommerce (i.e. classifieds, online retail, marketplaces, online comparison shopping, payments and online services), video-entertainment and print media. The group also has minority investments in listed, integrated social-network platforms Tencent (SEHK 0700) and Mail.ru (LSE: MAIL). Naspers is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (NPN.SJ) and has an ADR listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: NPSN).

For more information, please visit www.naspers.com

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