Mandela Trilogy - Cape Town Opera‘Mandela Trilogy: A musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela’ will be presented by Cape Town Opera at Artscape on 17 and 18 July 2018.

Mandela Trilogy: A musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela will be presented by Cape Town Opera at Artscape on 17 and 18 July 2018.The special performances will coincide with Mandela Day in South Africa.

The origins of the work go back to 2010, when Cape Town Opera produced the world premiere of African Songbook: A Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela at Artscape on 17 June. The work was conceived in celebration of Nelson Mandela in the run up to his 92nd birthday, and to serve as a cultural showpiece concurrent with the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa.

Mandela Trilogy goes international!

Mandela Trilogy - Cape Town Opera

The success of the show inspired the creative team to rewrite the opera; in 2011 Mandela Trilogy toured to the Playhouse Theatre in Durban and the Monte Casino Theatre in Johannesburg. The opera had is European premiere at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in 2012 followed by performances at the Deutsches Theatre in Munich in 2014.  In 2016, CTO made its Italian premiere at the Ravenna Festival with Mandela Trilogy, followed by a 26-performance tour to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Southbank Festival Hall in London, the Mayflower in Southampton, the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin, the Birmingham Hippodrome, and the Lowry Theatre in Manchester. In 2017 Mandela Trilogy was performed at the Dubai Opera house and at the Hong Kong Cultural Grand Theatre.

More on Mandela Trilogy

Mandela Trilogy is a truly home-brewed production that highlights the unique and forceful sound of the African voice and employs a fusion of traditional Xhosa songs, jazz tunes and modern music in honour of one of the world’s most inspiring statesmen. The work consists of three acts – an encounter with traditional rural music, a jazz musical and an opera – representing the diversity of expression in contemporary South Africa.

Mandela Trilogy - Cape Town Opera

Composers Peter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell and librettist, Michael Williams, collaborated to musically identify and complement different phases of Mandela’s life, providing three singers with an opportunity to portray the complex aspects of his personality. Van Dijk explores Mandela’s teenage years setting the first act in rural Qunu, culminating in the young man’s initiation into adulthood and his decision to leave his village for the bright lights of Johannesburg.

The jazz musical of the second act was composed by Mike Campbell. In this movement, the vibrant life of 1950s Sophiatown falls under the shadow of the apartheid security forces. The Jig Club dance hall frequented by Mandela is closed down, and its guests are forced to relocate their homes to ever-impoverished and distant townships.

The final act is composed as a powerful contemporary opera, with music by Peter Louis Van Dijk, on themes of revolution, incarceration and freedom.

What: Mandela Trilogy

Where and when: Artscape on 17 and 18 July 2018

Book: Computicket

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