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Cape Town Opera’s Tosca comes to Johannesburg and Cape Town

By Creative Feel

From 21 to 30 July 2023, Cape Town Opera (CTO) will present Tosca, Puccini’s powerful opera, to Johannesburg audiences at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Braamfontein before moving to the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town from 12 to 17 September 2023. 

Cape Town Opera Tosca

The highly anticipated grand-scale production will be directed by CTO’s Artistic Director Magdalene Minnaar with decor and costume design by Maritha Visagie and Leopold Senekal, movement direction by Fiona du Plooy and lighting design by Oliver Hauser. 

Maestro Adam Szmidt will conduct both the Johannesburg Philharmonic and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestras in the respective venues.

Heading the stellar cast in both cities will be soprano Nobulumko Mngxekeza as the ambivalent Floria Tosca in her first production with Cape Town Opera since being appointed as soloist last year. Mngxekeza has enjoyed an outstanding international career and will be returning soon from Belgium to begin rehearsals.

“I am delighted to have [Mngxekeza] back with us,” says Minnaar, “and I am so excited to direct her alongside an exceptional line up of Cape Town Opera artists in what happens to be one of my favourite operas of all time – so layered and dynamic and a feast for the senses,” she enthuses.

Joining Mngxekeza will be tenor Lukhanyo Moyake as the artist Cavaradossi – Floria’s love interest – and the award-winning baritone Conroy Scott as the malicious police chief Baron Scarpia. Judith Neilson Young Artist Reuben Mbonambi plays the escaped political prisoner Angelotti. 

A wrenching, passionate melodrama of love, loss, jealousy and deception

The story of Tosca, an opera in three acts, follows Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi, two lovers whose ill-fated romance plays out amidst political turmoil in Italy in 1800. It is a wrenching, passionate melodrama of love, loss, jealousy and deception, set against the backdrop of revolution in Rome during the Napoleonic Wars. 

Cape Town Opera Tosca

CTO’s production is set against this backdrop, blending Roman grandeur with contemporary elements and strong references to the splendid architecture of the day. The costumes will be a conflation of old and new, enhanced with elegant period pieces. 

CTO’s Tosca promises to be a marvellous spectacle and comes loaded with all the drama and intrigue and mystery audiences have come to expect from this artistic genre. Puccini’s score reveals his compositional mastery and exceptional skill in distilling humanity’s most profound emotions into music. 

Gauteng’s Sempre Opera Chorus will perform at the Nelson Mandela Theatre, while the Cape Town Opera Chorus under the direction of Marvin Kernelle carries the Cape Town season. Another exciting aspect to this 60-strong cast is the inclusion of a 24 member children’s chorus. 

Tickets for TOSCA at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Braamfontein (21 to 30 July 2023) cost from R180 to R550 with booking through Webtickets. The season at the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town runs from 12 to 17 September 2023 with booking via Computicket or 021 421 7695. PG13.

Cape Town Opera acknowledges, with grateful thanks, the support of the Rupert Music Foundation, the Judith Neilson Head Trust and the City of Cape Town.

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