UCT protest action forces postponement of performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute

Cape Town Opera enjoys a long-standing partnership with UCT and the South African College of Music (SACM).  For the past 17 years, CTO has mounted two productions annually with the UCT Opera School and the UCT Symphony Orchestra. Cape Town Opera provides professional staging for these productions – the director, sets, costumes, props and stage management – while  the majority of the singers and orchestral players are UCT students performing in the opera as part of their academic work.

This partnership affords young, talented singers invaluable experience performing in professional productions with a full orchestra, preparing them for a career on the stage. Recently, in a Carte Blanche interview, tenor Sunnyboy Dladla identified playing the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, a UCT/CTO collaboration, as giving him a huge advantage when starting his international career.

This year, an unprecedented movement by university students across South Africa, including some students in the SACM, has resulted in the need to postpone the opening of The Magic Flute, which was scheduled to open on 27 September 2016.  A spokesperson from the UCT Press Office said, “We acknowledge that the production has been eagerly awaited by audience members and students alike.  We also acknowledge the importance of the issues that are being addressed by students, including some who are involved in The Magic Flute production.”

CTO Managing Director Michael Williams says: “This is an unprecedented situation for CTO which, in 17 years of staging operas locally and internationally, has never had to postpone a production. CTO assures all our valued ticket holders that the company exhausted all avenues in an effort to keep the show on stage next week. Cape Town Opera offers sincere apologies to patrons who were looking forward to attending Matthew Wild’s magical new production of the work.”

Wild, who is also Artistic Director of CTO, added: “We are very disappointed that we are unable to share our work with audiences next week. My creative team has been crafting the production for over a year, and the students have been doing beautiful work in rehearsals. It’s also been a great pleasure to create the staging with artists including conductor Jeremy Silver and choreographer Joshua Beamish. Our focus now is on securing dates to premiere the production in the first half of 2017, and I hope patrons will find that it was worth the long wait.”

Cape Town Opera will publicise dates for the postponed run as soon as they are finalised. Ticket holders can contact Computicket for a full refund, or call Cape Town Opera for more information.  At Cape Town Opera, they can speak to John on (021) 4109919.