Mozart in Potch!
From 11-18 September 2016, Mozart’s popular opera, The Marriage of Figaro, will be performed on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus, in Ikageng, as well as in Klerksdorp. The production is presented by die NWU School of Music and the NWU Choir Academy®, in collaboration with Umculo and PUK Arts.
Umculo’s Opera Incubator was launched early in 2016. Upon invitation from the vocal division of the School of Music, the director of the Opera Incubator, Kobie van Rensburg, and the founder of Umculo, Shirley Apthorp, joined the voice lecturers and students at the Conservatory in preparing for this production. Umculo also arranged for the renowned German stage director, Robert Lehmeier, to direct the production.
Lehmeier’s subtle reduction of the original work allows the voice students of the School of Music to entertain the audience with the most popular arias and ensembles from the opera. His re-imagination of this 18th-century story within a South African township context is refreshing and unique, while maintaining the narrative of a clever pair of servants who get the better of their corrupt masters. While the opera will be sung in Italian, students worked with Lehmeier to create appropriate dialogue in English to replace the recitatives. There will also be surtitles in English and Setswana at each performance.
The first performance of this opera is a concert version on Sunday 11 September 2016 at 15:30 in the Conservatory Hall, Potchefstroom. This performance will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra under the baton of André Oosthuizen.
Scenic performances will be presented at the Govan Mbeki Hall, Phuduhutswana Street in Ikageng on Tuesday 13 September at 19:00 and Wednesday 14 September at 15:00, and at the Jouberton Social Centre in Klerksdorp on Thursday 15 September at 16:30. The final performance is in the Totius Hall on the Potchefstroom Campus on Sunday 18 September at 15:00. The scenic performances will be accompanied by John Coulter, Wynand de Villiers and Christelle Engelbrecht on piano.
In order to ensure that younger audience members will enjoy their opera experience, Umculo will offer interactive workshops for school choirs and interested community groups. Participants will be introduced to the world of opera and to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro so that they can gain maximum appreciation from the performance. Anyone who is interested in these workshops can call Shirley Apthorp on 082-686-3049.
Tickets for the 11 September performance in the Conservatory Hall are available at the Conservatory in Thabo Mbeki Drive (tel. 018-299-1692), PUK Arts in the Heimat Building (F9) on the university campus (tel. 018-299-2844), Protea Bookshop on the Bult (tel. 018-297-1583), online at www.artema.co.za and www.facebook.com/NWU.Music, or 30 minutes before the concert at the box office.