Porgy and Bess a runaway hit

29 August 2008 | Story by Chris McEvoy

Professor Angelo Gobbato
Singing success: Professor Angelo Gobbato directed the highly successful Porgy and Bess.

Although he's stepping down at the end of the year as head of UCT's School of Opera, Professor Angelo Gobbato is not about to start winding down. He's just returned from an exhausting trip to Europe to direct Cape Town Opera's production of Porgy and Bess.

Starring a number of UCT graduates who are rising stars in the world of opera, including Pretty Yende, Fikile Mvinjelwa, Philisa Sibeko and Kaiser Nkosi in leading roles, this local production of George Gershwin's hit opera is a runaway hit in Europe.

After successful runs in Umea and Malmö, Sweden, in the last two years, the company returned to Europe to perform sold-out runs at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Germany, in July and in Oslo, Norway, in August.

"Berlin has three opera houses and a very discerning opera culture, so it was quite an achievement to receive a standing ovation from that audience," says Gobbato.

The company was also had the honour of performing the first complete opera given in the magnificent new opera house in Oslo.

"The production's success in Europe means financial gain for Cape Town Opera with which more operatic opportunities can be created in South Africa," explains Gobbato. "It's good art - and good business."

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