Africa's premiere opera company, Cape Town Opera (CTO), has thrilled audiences around the globe for the past decade, from its home soils in Southern Africa to countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Israel, the United States and Australia. The company boasts a talented core of singers who recently won the Best Chorus at the 2013 International Opera Awards.
CTO's South African base is a key training ground for gifted young African singers, many of whom come from South Africa's poorest communities. Maintaining an impressively varied repertoire of opera, operetta and musicals at home (from Monteverdi to Janacek and Gershwin to new South African commissions), the company also engages widely with rural communities and young people around South Africa. Since 2005, CTO has showcased its finest vocal talents in a roster of touring productions which have brought the art of this unique company to the world.
The company's Soweto-set production of Gershwins' Porgy and Bess has been seen in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom and Israel; in 2012 a hugely successful six city tour of the UK culminated in a two week run at London's Coliseum, and a few weeks later the company performed the work in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle at Berlin's Philharmonie. Kern's Show Boat has taken the company to Malmö, Nuremberg, Oslo, Paris, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Dublin. CTO's gripping tribute to Nelson Mandela, Mandela Trilogy, played at Cardiff's Wales Millennium Centre, and its moving new production of Weill's Lost in the Stars marked the company's United States debut at Glimmerglass.
The 11th of July 2014 was significant on the Cape Town Opera calendar with the company having performed in 4 different countries with 4 different productions. Show Boat was on stage in England, Porgy and Bess in Spain, African Angels in Germany and the Spirit of Unity Concert in Wales. Concert performances include an appearance at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, a soiree at Leighton House in London, a series of concerts to mark the reopening of Melbourne's Hamer Hall, CTO's African Angels opened the 2014 Cologne summer festival and as well as year-end tours in 2013 and 2014 to the Netherlands.
To be the leading opera company of its type in the world, and a source of pride to all South Africans.
- To promote and develop the appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of opera amongst all South Africans, and respect for its practitioners;
- To mobilise all available local, national, regional and global artistic, financial and managerial resources in support of CTO’s vision;
- To contribute to committed and innovative stewardship of opera and the operatic arts in South Africa;
- To show sensitivity to the needs and requirements of the broad-based opera community in South Africa.
- Excellence and integrity in everything;
- Committed and innovative stewardship;
- Sound and ethical governance;
- Openness in engagement with stakeholders.
- Provide a full and varied programme of world class opera and operatic productions with South African and international artists in South Africa;
- Provide training and skills development opportunities for South African singers and operatic arts practitioners in South Africa and abroad;
- Provide performing opportunities for South African singers and operatic arts practitioners in South Africa and abroad;
- Encourage and support the creation and production of new operatic and musical works reflecting South Africa’s cultural diversity and heritage, fostering and exploring African identity.