CityLife Arts

Market Theatre celebrates 45th anniversary with an opera gala performance

By CityLife Arts Writer

The renowned Market Theatre is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2021.  As part of acknowledging this milestone achievement the Market Theatre will be presenting two glorious opera gala evenings of operatic favourites in a special arrangement – Coloratura – the virtuosity of opera.

Arias, overtures and intermezzos will fill the John Kani Theatre in a programme of opera at its best. Coloratura – the virtuosity of opera explores the themes of love, betrayal and tragedy.

The gala evenings feature internationallyrecognized stars Zandile Mzazi, Bongiwe Nakani and Given Nkosi, ably supported by bass, Thomas Mohlamme, and two TUT Vocal Art School students, Zintle Soga and Asisipho Petu, with the 43-piece Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg providing the orchestral accompaniment.

The programme has been curated by Kutlwano Masote, who will also be the maestro on the nights. Highlights of the programme include the tenor ariaE lucevan le stelle from Puccini’s Tosca, the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen and the famous quartet Bella figliad’morefrom Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Elated to conduct at The Market again, Masote believes that this production is a wonderful response to developments over the last ten years in the South African music landscape.  Says Masote “There are probably a hundred South African opera singers performing regularly at theatres in Europe and North America.South African theatres need to do more in supporting this wellspring of singers that we have been producing for decade. As for the name of the show ‘coloratura’ is a word that is used all the time in opera, referring to a voice type and also to the intricate writing that shows off a singer’s command of technique. We just thought it would generate curiosity in the production andwould set it apart.”

Artist Director of The Market Theatre, James Ngcobo, added his voice to the theatre’s alignment to life during the pandemic, “As we celebrate the milestone of the 45th year of the Market Theatre, in such a difficult terrain that we have had to navigate since last year, we are committed to the idea of programming works that articulate our excitement with tackling different genres for all our spaces. We continue to bring new offerings to our audiences while maintaining the excellence of The Market Theatre.”

Actress Lerato Gwebu will bring levity to the show and unravel some of the mysteries of opera in these uniquely entertaining evenings of song and celebration.

James Ngcobo will lend his directorial expertise to add an aura of theatricality to the performances.

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