Cape Town Opera to Stage U.K. Tour of Porgy and Bess, Including Season at London Coliseum

News   Cape Town Opera to Stage U.K. Tour of Porgy and Bess, Including Season at London Coliseum
 
While performances have just begun for a new Broadway incarnation of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, starring Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald in the title roles at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Cape Town Opera has announced that it will reprise its own production of the show, which relocates the action to the depression-ravaged townships of Soweto, for a U.K. tour.

The tour will commence at Birmingham's Hippodrome June 6, 2012, for a run through June 9, then travel to Edinburgh, Cardiff, Canterbury and Southampton, before concluding with a London season at the London Coliseum, running July 11-21.

As part of its run at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, it will also offer the European premiere of its new work, Mandela Trilogy, for two performances only. Written by Michael Williams with music by Allan Stephenson, Mike Campbell, and Péter Louis van Dijk, it is a musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela which dramatizes key periods of his life in different musical styles. Traditional Xhosa songs and jazz melodies are woven into a classical framework that follows Mandela from a young man in the Transkei, to revolutionary, to Robben Island prisoner and the final walk to freedom.

Cape Town Opera's production of Porgy and Bess was previously seen in the U.K. for a sort tour in 2009. Cape Town Opera (CTO) is the largest performing arts company in South Africa. Since its establishment in 1999, the company has been committed to the continued performance and development of opera, operetta and musical theatre in South Africa.

CTO focuses on performance excellence, audience development and innovation, with the overall goal of increasing the relevance of opera as a performing art form in South Africa. The company has three staff soloists and 23 professional members of the Voice of the Nation Ensemble: the core of the CTO Chorus, conducted by Albert Horne. In addition, the Voice of the Nation Studio consists of 7 young soloists on the brink of professional careers, refining their artistic skills on stage throughout the year.

Cape Town Opera's season of Porgy and Bess will be presented at the London Coliseum by Raymond Gubbay and Askonas Holt. For further details on the company, visit www.capetownopera.co.za.

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