What is better than taking your seat under the stars at Maynardville Open-Air Theatre on a balmy Cape Town night and giving yourself over to beautiful music performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the VR Theatrical presented summer festival’s offering, TIMELESS & IMMORTAL?!
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, under the exceptional guidance of conductor Brandon Phillips, opens up the world of Romeo & Juliet to the audience with an insightful selection of iconic works.
The audience is fervently guided through the programme by Narrator, John Woodland, who draws on a selection of scenes from the play to contextualise the vendetta, love and tragedy at the centre of every number. He does so with just the right amount of dramatic flair and a healthy respect for the orchestra taking centre stage.
Romeo & Juliet isn’t necessarily my favourite of the Bard's creations (with such a vast body of work, everyone is bound to have a favourite and a least), but on the night the narrative guide paired with the brilliantly selected and performed musical numbers paid homage to the masterful playwright’s most famous tragic lovers in a way that gave me a new appreciation for the ebb and flow of the drama that underlies it all.
Taking the audience on an instrumental journey inspired by Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers, we were treated to everything from Tchaikovsky to Radiohead and West Side Story. Not a note missed, the orchestra’s performance in TIMELESS & IMMORTAL was just that, a perfect moment in theatrical time that will live on forever as a fond memory of the moving power of music to elevate narrative and imagery.
I can now also unequivocally confirm that I am unashamedly a Tchaikovsky fan girl. And then there is the darkly moving vision of Prokofiev’s Op. 64, Act 1 Dance of the Knights that delights me to no end. Sheer genius and emotionally so evocative as it hints to the imminent doom of the forbidden love because of clannish hostility. All given expression through beautiful, heavy toned instrumentals.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is definitely at the top of their game. They truly are world class. With only two performances left, 20 and 21 January 2024, I would urge any lover of classical (and even lighter musical) performances to buy tickets immediately through Quicket to experience the beautiful TIMESLESS & IMMORTAL.
Next up as part of this year's enchanting Maynardville Open-Air Theatre festival line-up:
CAPE TOWN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: TIMELESS & IMMORTAL
Until 21 January 2024
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO & JULIET
25 January – 24 February 2024
AN EVENING WITH CAPE TOWN OPERA
4 February 2024
A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS
11 February 2024
FRIENDS IN HARMONY: A CHORAL CELEBRATION
25 February 2024
Tickets available for booking online through Quicket. And with so many food stalls at the park again this year as part of the festival vibe, why not make a night out of it!