Gregory Maqoma and Professor Angelo Gobbato to be honoured at 59th Fleur du Cap Awards

South African icon dancer, Gregory Maqoma. Picture: Instagram

South African icon dancer, Gregory Maqoma. Picture: Instagram

Published Mar 12, 2024


South African icons Gregory Maqoma and Professor Angelo Gobbato, will be honoured for their contributions to the arts at this year’s Fleur du Cap Awards.

The highly coveted awards aims to celebrate outstanding contributions to local theatre across 23 categories.

These range from performing to directing, scriptwriting, composing and puppetry as well as exceptional stage, sound, lighting and costume design.

Gobbato, an opera singer, stage director and UCT professor, will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Meanwhile, Maqoma, an award-winning dancer and choreographer will be honoured with The Encore Award.

Gobbato, who has been in the industry for decades, will receive the accolade for his significant contributions to South African opera.

According to a media statement, he has set new standards and enabled those who have followed him to achieve world-class performance excellence.

“Professor Gobbato is to be greatly admired for his dramatic integrity, always underscoring that ‘opera is not only a specialised brand of vocal music, but also one of theatrical performance’ as he likes to say.

“The judging panel salutes him for his selfless activism and determined efforts to ensure a future for opera,” the panel’s chairperson Africa Melane said.

Meanwhile, Maqoma was chosen for his contribution to theatre. This was illustrated in his production “Exit/Exist”, which pays homage to his ancestor, Chief Jongumsobomvu Maqoma, a prominent Xhosa leader, 150 years after his death.

He will receive the award based on his masterful integration of contemporary dance with indigenous movement and for the indelible mark he has made on the country’s cultural narrative.

“He has created a unique vocabulary that is deeply personal yet universally compelling,” said Melane.

This year, a total of 66 plays, musicals and music theatre productions were assessed by the judges.

There were also 10 productions for children and young adults as well as six operas.

In addition, 140 students from eight institutions in 54 productions were considered for the Best Student category.

Nominees for other categories include veteran South African comedian, theatre-maker and writer Rob van Vuuren for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play, Chuma Sopotela for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Play, and “The Sound of Music” for Best Production, among others.

The 59th Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 17, at the Baxter Theatre Centre, Cape Town.