Brandon Phillips To Conduct Debut Cape Town Opera Performance with THE MAGIC FLUTE
Brandon Phillips is a highly regarded and versatile conductor, sought after for symphony concerts by all South African orchestras, as well as for ballet, crossover and pop concerts, and now opera. Phillips will conduct selected performances of THE MAGIC FLUTE, which opens at the Artscape Theatre next week. A young cast of outstanding singers from Cape Town Opera and the University of Cape Town Opera School will perform this joyful and uplifting masterpiece.
Set to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE tells the tale of young prince Tamino (Nkululeko Masuku/Zwakele Tshabalala), who undertakes a quest to rescue the Princess Pamina (Frances du Plessis/Brittany Smith), he learns hard truths about the real world: that evil can appear to be good, that heartbreak and joy can come hand in hand, and that true love can be tested. Protected by the magic of their enchanted flute, Tamino and Pamina discover that only music can lead them through death's dark night.
The company also includes alternating performances by Martin Mkhize and Luvuyo Mbundu as Papageno, Babette du Toit, Denira Coleman and Rachelle la Grange as Papagena, Leah Gunther and Maudee Montierre as the Queen of the Night, and Thomas Mohlamme and Garth Delport as Sarastro.
Phillips will be rotating the podium for THE MAGIC FLUTE with maestro Kamal Khan. The production, which promises to deliver an enchanting blend of visual wizardry and whimsical comedy, is directed by Matthew Wild, with choreography by Joshua Beamish, set and costume design by Michael Mitchell, and lighting design by Patrick Curtis.
Phillips completed his diploma in orchestral studies at the College of Music at the University of Cape Town in 2002 and was awarded a Bachelor of Music Honours in solo bassoon in 2005.
He began his orchestral career playing in the Noupoort chamber music workshops, in the Namibian Symphony Orchestra, the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and as an extra musician in the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. He joined the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000 as a cadet and soon became sub-principal bassoon 2002, becoming principal in 2009.
In 2010, Phillips won the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra's Inaugural Len van Zyl Conductor's Competition. In 2012, Phillips received a prestigious award from the Minister of Arts and Culture Ivan Meyer for "outstanding achievements by the youth".
In 2014, he conducted the Miagi Youth Orchestra in Holland, Germany and Sweden to enormous acclaim.
Locally, Phillips has conducted the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in its SYMPHONY IN THE CITY and become a star of RMB's STARLIGHT CLASSICS. Under his guidance, the Cape Town Youth Orchestra has become a highly respected youth orchestra.
THE MAGIC FLUTE will play the Artscape Theatre from 23 November - 10 December. Bookings are through Computicket. The opera will be conducted by Khan on 23 and 25 November and 10 December, and by Phillips on 5, 7 and 9 December.