DON GIOVANNI, MADAMA BUTTERFLY and More Continue Cape Town Opera's 2013 Season
Cape Town Opera opened its 2013 season in April to rave reviews with Verdi's Otello, an international collaboration between Cape Town Opera and five major Australian and New Zealand opera companies, set to tour for five years. Next on the calendar were two short operas from South Africa and Sweden, entitled TWO:30, staged in Cape Town and in Stockholm to critical acclaim.
Entering the busiest phase of the new season, South Africa's premier opera company, Cape Town Opera is staging three exciting productions in the forthcoming months. The word colourful best summarises the many facets of all three productions. It's not only the obvious costumes and set designs that display patterns, hues and tones but also the different story-lines, the many characters (ranging from a sex addict to a barber and a murderer) plus the many moments of laughter, love, jealousy and hate that bring a new meaning to the interpretation of the word "colourful".
Presented by Cape Town Opera in collaboration with the UCT Opera School at the Baxter Theatre nightly from 20 August to 24 August 2013, Don Giovanni is an enthralling blend of comedy and drama that has made it one of the most-performed operas worldwide.
Cape Town Opera and the UCT Opera School continue their exploration of Mozart's mature operas with a theatrically daring take on his thrilling Don Juan adaptation. A legendary lover, a sadistic manipulator and cold-blooded villain. Has there ever been a more irrepressible rogue than Don Giovanni? Kamal Khan and Matthew Wild return as conductor and director to create a new production about opera's bad boy that has fascinated and captivated audiences across continents. Owing to partial nudity and violence, the production is not recommended for children under the age of 16.
Next, Puccini's much-loved Madama Butterfly returns to Artscape's Opera House this spring, playing from 19 to 27 September. Sublime sets, colourful costumes and a heart-rending opera takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride as the story of a trusting young Japanese bride and a callous American naval officer who weds and abandons her unfolds. Butterfly's aria 'Un bel dì', the joyous Flower Duet and the haunting Humming Chorus emerge from a score of consistent beauty and power, which goes straight for the emotional jugular and seldom fails to reduce even the hardest hearts to tears.
The leading role of Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly) is played by Russian-born soprano, Tatiana Monogarova. Educated at Russian Academy of Arts, Tatiana Monogarova has scored a considerable success the world over. Her career to date includes appearances with such eminent conductors as Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir and Mikhail Jurowski, Daniele Callegari, Andreas Spering, Louis Langree, Julian Reynolds, Normunds Vaicis, Tomas Netopil, Edo de Waart, Hans Zender and Kent Nagano. She sang The Bells at Hong Kong Arts Festival, Strauss's Four Last Songs with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky's Hamlet with the Orchestra of Age of Enlightenment under Vladimir Jurowski, and Martynov's Vita Nova in London and New York.
In the 2013-14 season, Ms. Monogarova takes the stage at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw singing the title role in Iolanta under Valery Gergiev, sings Lisa in a new Robert Carsen production of Pique Dame in her debut with Opernhaus Zürich under Jiri Belohlavek, and comes to Cape Town to sing the lead role of Cio-Cio San in Cape Town Opera's Madama Butterfly.
South African tenor Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi will sing the lead male role of Pinkerton, the American naval officer. Moagi recently scooped up the 3rd prize Overall winner, International Media-Jury prize and Prize of the Audience at the International Hans Gabore Belvedere Competition held in Amsterdam 6 July 2013. Born in Huhudi in Vryburg in 1982, he enrolled at the Opera School at the Pretoria Technikon in 2001 and joined The Black Tie Ensemble in 2003, where he sang Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Normanno in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. In 2006 he sang in Pro Musica's production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Opera Africa's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Mozart's Requiem and Handel's Messiah. In 2010 he joined the Cape Town Opera's Voice of the Nation Studio, singing Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gastone in La traviata and the Leader in Lost in the Stars. In 2011 he sang Rodolfo in the University of Cape Town production of La bohème and in 2012, he sang the role of Sportin' Life in the UK tour of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. He recently spent four months as a guest ensemble member with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv.