LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX Coming to Cape Town for the Suidoosterfees

Four members of the the young compant that will

Giacomo Puccini's popular opera classic, LA BOHÈME, is once again coming to Cape Town, staged this time as LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX. Given a local twist, the production marks the 50 years that have passed since the destruction of District Six. Presented by the collaborative production company, Africa Arts, the show will run as part of the Suidoosterfees at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town.

The original LA BOHÈME is set in a Paris garret and is a tale of four young struggling bohemians. The plot revolves around a tragic love story, between Rodolfo, a poet, and Mimì, a young seamstress. LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX is a 90-minute version of the classic opera, re-imagined by the seasoned opera veteran, Angelo Gobbato. His adaptation promises to be accessible while still keeping the essence of the most important operatic moments. The opera will be accompanied by a live orchestra conducted by Alex Fokkens.

District Six was a vibrant neighbourhood with a diverse population who appreciated the arts and music. That is why it seemed a logical idea to Amanda Osorio, the founder of Africa Arts and producer of LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX, to combine the storyline of LA BOHÈME with the historical legacy of District Six. Osotio, who who also plays a lead role in this opera, says:

We decided to update one of the world's best loved and well known operas, LA BOHÈME, and set it in District Six. We did this as a way of honouring and celebrating the heritage of this important South African space and historical era, through the lens of a classic opera storyline. La Bohème means 'the Bohemians' and District Six was well known for its bohemian atmosphere. It was a place where South African artists of all races and religions could mix freely and share ideas, which resulted to a collective culture in opposition to the Apartheid regime.?

LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX will feature six emerging South African singers. Given Nkosi plays Rodolfo, Amanda Osorio will be Mimi, Lynelle Kenned as Musetta, Marcello will be played by Owen Metsileng, Njabulo Sifiso Mthimkhulu as Schaunard and Kabelo Lebyana will be Colline. There will be a very special guest appearance of Angelo Gobbato as Alcindoro.

This group of talented artists will be directed by the award-winning Tara Notcutt. Notcutt has received Best Production accolades for ...MISKIEN and THE THREE LITTLE PIGS at Clover Aardklop and Woordfees respectively and has three Silver and six Standard Bank Ovation Awards. This will be Notcutt's first full-scale opera. She says:

I am beside myself with excitement at having a chance to direct such a well-loved piece. As my first opera, I feel very lucky to be in the hands of such incredible music and the wonderful team at Africa Arts. LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX is about the spirit of beauty, love and art and I hope that audiences allow themselves to be swept up in the romance of Puccini's music.

Africa Arts' staging of LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX is part of the company's mission to promote South African culture, heritage and language through opera. The company also aims to create a context for opera in South Africa, which in turn creates performance opportunities for South African artists. This opera will bring District Six to life for a whole new audience of theatre-goers while sharing an important piece of South African history.

LA BOHÈME IN DISTRICT SIX will be presented at the 2016 Suidoosterfees at the Kyknet Theatre in the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town from 28 April - 1 May. Bookings are through Computicket.

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