Phenye Modiane and Kimmy Skota. Picture: Supplied
Phenye Modiane and Kimmy Skota. Picture: Supplied

’Cantiamo’ celebrates and honours Mzansi opera singers

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Apr 20, 2021

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Artistic director Marcus Tebogo Desando is making a plea to South Africans to make their way back to the theatre, as the livelihood of many creatives is dependent on this.

The past 12 months have been dubbed one of the toughest periods in the arts industry but truth be told the theatre industry was under a lot of strain long before Covid-19 even hit our shores.

We caught up with Tebogo Desando before the opening of the “Cantiamo, Mzansi Opera Celebration” as the show makes its spectacular return to the Joburg Theatre after its highly successful debut season last October.

Desando says it’s every South Africa’s responsibility to make sure the theatre stays alive.

He assures patrons that all Covid-19 health and safety protocols are strictly adhered to at all theatres across the country.

“People need to come back to the theatre because without their support, the theatre industry will die a painful death,” said Desando.

“Cantiamo” is a show that strives to celebrate and honour many South African singers, composers and conductors for their contribution to the global music scene.

“This is a concept designed to showcase South African voices, it’s a celebration of South African music,” he said.

“This showpiece was created to introduce audiences to South African opera, because a number of operas that have been written by South Africans.

“And what's more exciting is that black composers are starting to write operas much more frequently than before.

“So people will definitely be experiencing a few well-known pieces and also some South African pieces.

“We all know that South Africa is now one of the biggest exporters of opera singers in the world. And so we want to celebrate the South Africans voice that are making waves on the international stages.”

The 80-minute musical extravaganza features over 25 performers including four soloists, the pianist, 20 choristers and two conductors.

“The show will be a spectacle for the eyes, not just for the ear,” Tebogo Desando added.

Commenting on show Joburg City Theatres CEO Xoliswa Nduneni Ngema says: “The home-grown operatic talents of this country’s singers has showcased South African voices around the world and produced many internationally recognised opera stars.”

“We are honoured to celebrate unforgettable opera at the Mandela Theatre, in the company of four wonderful soloists accompanied by master pianist, Paul Ferreira.”

“Cantiamo - Mzansi Opera Celebration” runs from April 25 till May 2.

Tickets are available at Webtickets from R200. For more information visit the Joburg Theatre.

The show will be recorded for streaming at a later date.

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