They call it ‘bonsai opera’, and that’s not because you buy it from Stodels.
It’s because four local composers have teamed up with four writers to create a quartet of half-hour works that tell uniquely African stories, from a shipwreck in the 1700s to the “troublesome” process of getting a passport. That’s also why the project is called Four:30.
The four operas – The Application, Blood of Mine, Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa and Anti-Laius – are the fruits of a collaboration between the Cape Town Opera and the UCT Opera School. They open at Artscape on 25 November.
“We must constantly create new operas,” says conductor Kamal Khan, a professor in the South African College of Music. “There are so many exciting new singers being discovered in South Africa, but what will they sing? They should be able to sing their own stories.”
The hope is that newer, younger audiences will latch onto bite-size operas that tell relatable stories, says Michael Williams, managing director of the Cape Town Opera.
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