‘Ubuntu – The Opera’ rehearsals get underway

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Composer Juan Burgers (centre) with choristers from left, Nana Mkhize, Nature Khuzwayo, Colleen Smit, Nqobile Khuzwayo, Nqobile Mathaba and Bright Magwaza. Pic by Val Adamson.
Composer Juan Burgers (centre) with choristers from left, Nana Mkhize, Nature Khuzwayo, Colleen Smit, Nqobile Khuzwayo, Nqobile Mathaba and Bright Magwaza. Pic by Val Adamson.

Chorus rehearsals got underway this week at the Durban Music School for the world premiere of Ubuntu – The Opera by 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 will be performed in the Playhouse Opera Theatre between 17 and 22 November 2015.

Burgers’ creation will be staged as a 21st anniversary salute to South Africa’s Struggle for Democracy while providing a showcase of some of the country’s finest operatic talent. Set to a score underpinned by the composer’s strong melodic drive and his bent for richly conceived vocal and orchestral writing, Ubuntu – The Opera is written in two acts with a prologue. Burgers’ libretto focuses on key events in the years of struggle against apartheid.

Ubuntu chorus members from left, Mandla Mkhize, Sipho Langa, Phindile Hlongwa, Raphael Vilakazi (Executive Producer), Mbali Zuma and Chantal Ardendorff. Pic by Val Adamson.
Ubuntu chorus members from left, Mandla Mkhize, Sipho Langa, Phindile Hlongwa, Raphael Vilakazi (Executive Producer), Mbali Zuma and Chantal Ardendorff. Pic by Val Adamson.

Aside from the principal roles in the cast, the production features a powerhouse chorus of some 60 singers who will perform with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lykele Temmingh. With Burgers as its artistic director, vocal coach and repetiteur, and Raphael Vilakazi its executive producer, Ubuntu – The Opera will be directed, designed and choreographed by David Krugel.

Tickets are R120, R180 and R250 per person (R90 for students and pensioners). Booking opens shortly through Computicket outlets at Shoprite Checkers stores, telephonically on 0861 915 8000, or via the Playhouse box office on 031-369 9540 (office hours), or online at www.computicket.com

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