On Thursday 7 December 2023, Cape Town Opera announced 2024’s highly anticipated seasons and remarkable 25th anniversary milestone at a jubilant event held at D-Core Art Gallery in the city.
With dignitaries, donors, VIP’s and Media in attendance, Cape Town Opera (CTO) Managing Director Alex Gabriel and Artistic Director Magdalene Minnaar welcomed guests, looking back on a momentous comeback year while also sharing exciting information about what audiences could expect throughout 2024 in both Cape Town and Gauteng. Head of Youth Development and Education Madré Loubser gave an inspirational overview of what her department had achieved in 2023.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis who was unable to be there in person, sent a wonderful congratulatory message to the Company that was relayed to all present by video.
Those present were treated to performances by CTO House Soloist Nobulumko Mngxekeza (soprano) together with the male members of the Cape Town Opera Chorus, sang 'La vergine degli angeli' from Verdi’s La forza del destino. Chorus member Busisiwe Ngejane (soprano) delivered a rendition of 'O mio babbino caro' from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, while Cape Town Opera Judith Neilson Young Artist Lonwabo Mose (baritone) performed a solo from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Grade 11 Learner from Phandulwazi High School in Philippi, Khanya Mtala, one of several talented students currently training with CTO’s successful Foundation Studio programme, sang 'Deh, vieni alla finestra’ from Mozart's Don Giovanni. José Dias accompanied the artists on a grand piano courtesy of Ian Burgess-Simpson.
Included in Cape Town Opera's 2024 calendar will be once-off performances such as Puccini in the Park at the Maynardville Open Air Festival, Starlight Classics at Vergelegen and Mozart’s Requiem at the Paarl Toringkerk at Easter, together with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Artscape Opera House line-up includes Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, in commemoration of the centenary of Puccini’s death, and Shorts: A Festival of Pocket Operas at the Arena, with among others Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice); Mozart’s lesser-known opera Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario) translated into English, and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor will be followed by a season at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, and thereafter David Kramer's much anticipated Orpheus McAdoo, following the huge box office success of Orpheus in Africa at the Fugard Theatre in 2015, closes the season.
Magdalene Minnaar also announced the formation of the Cape Town Opera Children’s Chorus that will be led by Antoinette Huyssen. Children who are part of this 28 member choir are between 9 and 15 years of age. Some of them made their debut earlier this year in Tosca while three -Hera Benade, Julie Browne and Kiki Molele- will be in the upcoming The Sound of Music, a collaborative production between Cape Town Opera and Pieter Toerien Productions that opens at the Artscape Opera House on 14 December 2023.
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Judith Neilson Foundation, Cape Town Opera will expand its Opera for All programme in 2024 by making a number of main stage performance tickets available at little or no cost to members of the general public. Cape Town Opera also remains committed to presenting a series of performances in various Cape Town communities throughout the year, an initiative that is generously sponsored by The City of Cape Town, and once again an exciting series of concerts will be presented in the coming year.
Booking has opened at Quicket for Puccini in the Park at the Maynardville Open Air festival and at Webtickets for the Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi double bill at Artscape.