Cape Town Opera presents a double bill of Amagokra and Curlew River, two contrasting one-act operas conducted by Jeremy Silver and directed by Christine Crouse, with designs by Linda Mandela.
The operas, one written for an all-male cast, and one all-female, are juxtaposed in this thought-provoking and emotive double bill.
Based on the 15th-century Japanese Noh play Sumidagawa (Sumida River) by Jūrō Motomasa, the libretto for Benjamin Britten’s church parable Curlew River was written by the South African-born author William Plomer. It focuses on the pain of a woman who has lost her child.
The opera follows the search of the Madwoman (played by a tenor) for her missing son, and her eventual journey through grief to find a sense of spiritual enlightenment.
Also confronting themes of loss and grief, Amagokra (‘Heroes’) is a new one-act South African opera about the heroic strength of women in the face of adversity and despair.
Commissioned by CTO as part of its ongoing commitment to developing new local operas, Amagokra is composed by Sibusiso Njeza to an isiXhosa libretto by Fleur du Cap-winning actress and writer Asanda Chuma Sopotela.
The opera is an examination of the legacies of Uyinene Mrwetyana and Fezekile Ntsukela “Khwezi” Kuzwayo, South African women whose lives were tragically lost in violent crimes.
Young singers from CTO and the University of Cape Town Opera School features in this collaborative production.
Venue: Novalis Ubuntu Institute, 39 Rosmead Avenue, Cape Town