South Africa: Lack of funds shuts down Mandela opera

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - A spectacular opera telling the life story of the late world statesman Nelson Mandela has drawn the curtain after just three performances because of a lack of funds, PANA reported Wednesday.

“Madiba: The African Opera” premiered to rave reviews on Friday at the State Theatre in Pretoria but quickly ran out of money to pay performers.

Producer Unathi Mtirara, who is also Mandela's grandnephew, blamed the National Lotteries Board for failing to transfer the funds it had pledged for the production.

He said the board had pledged US$1.1 million but then cut that amount to US$200,000.

The National Lottery is a source of funding for many art programmes and charities, but sometimes struggles to cover some of the applicants.

Board spokesman Sershan Naidoo denied that it had pledged US$1.1 million.

The production, which has a cast of 200, was scheduled run until 1 June before heading to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu on 18 July to mark Mandela’s birthday.

This was supposed to be followed by performances in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

The production was then scheduled to embark on a tour of Europe in 2015.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 28May2014

28 may 2014 09:32:27

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