For two performances only, the widely-travelled "Mandela Trilogy" will be flighted next week at the Artscape Theatre, joining in the centenary celebrations of our beloved Madiba.
The three-act opera takes the audience on a journey through Mandela's life. It highlights his youth in Qunu, his early adulthood in Sophiatown and incarceration on Robben Island, fusing traditional Xhosa music, jazz and contemporary classical music - all to what has been described as "electrifying effect".
Thato Machona, Musanete Sakupwanya and Aubrey Lodewyk star as Mandela with Philisa Sibeko and Siphamandla Yukupa sharing the role of Winnie Mandela. Acclaimed opera singer Cecilia Rangwanasha joins the cast as Mandela's mother and Fleur du Cap winner Edith Plaatjies (who won the award for her role in King Kong) makes her CTO debut as Dolly.
Playing Winnie - "The Mother of the Nation" has been a satisfying challenge according to the two actresses charged with the role. Both have an impressive list of playing key roles in a string of operas locally and abroad and have travelled with Mandela Trilogy to the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Sibeko comments she is extremely excited about performing it again at this significant time. "It's going to be so emotional for me - I was in Standard 3 when Mandela was released. The role of Winnie occurs in the second act - in Sophiatown - and shows how the two meet and things move really fast.