As a company operating in a developing country, Cape Town Opera (CTO) embraces its social responsibilities. With two full-time staff and 10 contract workers, CTO’s Education and Outreach department maintains an energetic program of projects that annually benefit over 4 000 learners primarily in rural/township communities across eight South African provinces.
Opera is My First Language
Cape Town Opera’s (CTO’s) flagship music education program addresses the lack of formal, effective music education in rural and township Western Cape schools.
CTO works directly with 160 primary school learners based in Vredenburg, Retreat and Nyanga and six school teachers/administrators from schools in these communities
National Schools Tour
Each year, Cape Town Opera’s National Schools Tour Team travels for three weeks to rural/underdeveloped schools throughout South Africa to teach participants a dynamic Vocal Bootcamp that prepares them to compete in SASCE. This tour, now in its 7th year, gives otherwise disadvantaged students a winning chance.
Theory and Keyboard Skills
During the year, Cape Town Opera provides weekly workshops to young township teachers to improve keyboard skills, learn basic music theory and read/teach sheet music. The participants are taught a course designed specifically to suit their needs by Dr. Liezel Maret Jacobs, a leading musicologist from Durban.
In May 2016 four of these committed young teachers were given brand new keyboards so that they can practice daily and in turn help develop musical talent in the townships.
Amabali Ethu (Xhosa for Our Stories) gives learners an opportunity to write and compose their own short opera (30-45 minutes) in their local language based on stories relevant to their lives and community.
CTO provides a professional composer and dramatist to create an opera from their life experiences which the children then perform at the school, inviting all parents and local community members.
Cape Town Opera has partnered with Jazz Hands to provide access to selected productions for the deaf and deaf blind community. This programme, which was launched in 2015, offers free interpreting services to a group of deaf and deaf blind audience members to ensure full participation for these special guests. CTO also arranges special touch tours that allow blind/deaf patrons to feel the singers’ faces and costumes, the set and also some of the musical instruments in the orchestra.
Watch the video on enca :
Final Dress Rehearsal
Local schools and community choirs from underdeveloped areas are invited to attend Cape Town Opera’s (CTO) Final Dress Rehearsal free of charge. CTO provides reliable and safe transportation, through the HCI Transport Programme. Introducing students to musical masterpieces creates an opportunity for them to experience the world from a new perspective. By attending productions with their young adult peers in performance, they are able to see role models developing careers in the arts.