South Africa: Mandela Opera launches in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - Six months after the death of former President Nelson Mandela, South Africans have an opportunity to celebrate his life.

Opera South Africa will host the world premiere of “Madiba The African Opera” at the Pretoria State Theatre on Thursday. The production will run until 1 June.

Mandela's great nephew Unathi Mtirara, who is also the Chief Executive of Opera South Africa, said there were many aspects of Mandela’s life that were being left out, and so he put together stories that were personal and not well known.

It was these stories that formed the backbone of the performance.

Rejecting the label of “saint” that appeared to be synonymous with Mandela, Mtirara conveys him as a man who wasn't perfect but who was still a source of moral inspiration.

Mtirara said the audience would get to see the man behind the saintly facade, the man who stole vegetables and cows and who had an upbringing not dissimilar to thousands of youths in the rural areas.

The audience will get to see how Mandela’s family lost its traditional seat of power because his father Chief Gadla Mphakanyiswa refused to appear before a white magistrate.

The music for the opera was composed by Sibusiso Njeza and the orchestrator is Kutlwano Masote.

Following its run in Pretoria, it will be staged at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu on 18 July, to mark Mandela’s birthday.

This will be followed by performances in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

In 2015, the production embarks on a tour of Europe.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 21May2014

21 may 2014 13:56:53

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