German Embassy partners with Cape Town Opera on Fidelio production
With generous support from the German Embassy, the Cape Town Opera will present Beethoven's Fidelio March 7-10. The opera will be staged at the historic Castle of Good Hope for an unforgettable outdoor music experience.
(© Cape Town Opera)
As the full moon rises over the Castle of Good Hope in the city of Cape Town, stage lights will rise on the production of Beethoven's Fidelio. Staged eight years ago on Robben Island, the company has shifted this new production inland, welcoming with it musical guidance from Nürnburg State Theatre conductor Philip Pointner.
The opera is primarily funded by South Africa's National Lottery Distribution Fund, but Pointner's appearance (as well as specific musical and linguistic training and outreach programmes) are supported by the German Embassy to the tune of 11,000 Euro.
Pointner, Head of Musical Direction and Conductor for the State Theatre of Nürnburg, will lead the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra for the performances. The conductor is no stranger to South Africa, having lead the Cape Town Opera from 1994-1996 in productions such as The Night of Figaro and The Merry Widow, as well as serving as guest conductor in the 90s in various events and venues in the country, such as the Grahamstown Festival and the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg.
Enlarge image Mandisinde Mbuyazwe will sing the role of Don Pizzaro (© Wayne Keet/Cape Town Opera) This opera, under the direction of Christine Crouse and featuring dramatic soprano Nkosazana Diamande as leading lady Leonore and John Treleaven as Florestan, has particular resonance for the South African audience. It speaks to a culture which has witnessed imprisonment, banishment, exile and ultimately the triumph of ideals.
Fidelio was the first and only opera written by Beethoven. Based on a real event that took place during the French revolution, the opera is set in an 18th century Spanish prison where the nobleman Florestan has been falsely imprisoned by the evil prison governor. Florestan’s loving wife, Leonore, disguises herself as a man and manages to free her husband, but not before - inevitably – the guard’s daughter falls in love with the bewitching stranger.
"Beethoven‘s opera of dark versus light and freedom versus imprisonment still speaks to us today, in a world ravaged by wars and atrocities. His music reminds us that life is full of alternatives and possibilities, that change is inevitable and that the meaning of music, like the meaning of life, is to partake in it and understand it," notes Crouse.
Enlarge image Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town (© Cape Town Opera) In addition to incorporating the exterior of the historic Castle as part of the set, the action of the staging will take place at the time of the first British occupancy in South Africa and the Second Dutch occupancy, between the years 1803 and 1806. This is the exact time, in fact, that the opera was written.
The opera will be performed on March 7, 9 and 10 at the Castle of Good Hope. With warm summer breezes still gracing the Cape, this event is certain to entertain and delight all.
For both general and booking information for Fidelio