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PRESS: Cape Town Opera’s SUOR ANGELICA & GIANNI SCHICCHI for the Artscape this February

Allison Foat

 

Hot on the heels of their sold-out Cape Town run of The Sound of Music presented in collaboration with Pieter Toerien Productions, Cape Town Opera opens its exciting 25th anniversary year with Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi at the Artscape from 14 to 17 February 2024.

The highly anticipated double bill directed by Magdalene Minnaar pays homage to the composer’s timeless genius and celebrates the centenary of his death. The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Jeremy Silver and aside from the exquisite score, audiences can look forward to hearing glorious, well known arias such as O mio bambino caro and Senza Mamma.


Suor Angelica, the more serious of the two one-act operas, stars Cape Town Opera House Soloist Nobulumko Mngxekeza in the title role with an all-women cast that includes Minette du Toit-Pearce as The Princess Aunt, Siphamandla Moyake as Sister Genevieve and CTO'’s Judith Neilson Young Artists Asisipho Petu as The Mother Abbess and Julia Portela Piñón as The Monitor. The Cape Town Opera Chorus will be directed by Marvin Kernelle and the Cape Town Opera Children’s Chorus, officially launched in December last year, will be directed by Antoinette Huyssen.


Suor Angelica revolves around Sister Angelica, a Florentine noblewoman compelled to join a nunnery after having a child out of wedlock. The story unfolds in the abbey where Angelica receives a visit from her elderly aunt, a princess, who shares distressing news about Angelica’s son with dramatic and devastating consequences.


On a lighter note to perfectly complement the gravitas of Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi is a delightful comedy set in Florence, Italy, with Cape Town Opera House Soloist Conroy Scott in the title role. The cast includes CTO's Judith Neilson Young Artists Dineo Bokala as Lauretta, Julia Portela Piñón as Zita and Lonwabo Mose as Simone.


The story unfolds around the bed of the rich patriarch Buoso Donati who has passed away after a long illness. Relatives gather, feigning grief as they wait to learn who has inherited Donati’s wealth. When they discover that none of them has any claim to the fortune, they seek out the conniving Schicchi to make a counterfeit will and all manner of shenanigans ensue.


Cape Town Opera has once again secured a superb creative team with lighting design by Faheem Bardien, movement direction by Fiona du Plooy and set and costume design by Allegra Bernacchioni from Italy whose theatre credits include top houses around the world including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, La Maestranza in Seville, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, the Euskalduna Theatre in Bilbao and Comédie de Genève in Geneva. She also spent a decade working closely with the brilliant stage and film director, Franco Zeffirelli.


Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi have been made possible through generous support from Mr & Mrs Stanislas Yassukovich and The City of Cape Town.


Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi runs at the Artscape Opera House from 14 to 17 February 2024 with performances at 18h00 and 19h00 and tickets from R190 to R550 through Webtickets and Artscape Dial-A-Seat on 0214217695. Special discounts are available for Pensioners and block bookings of ten or more.

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