As part of a concert tour that will see them performing in communities across the city, the Cape Town Opera chorus stopped off in Rocklands where they performed favourites like Every time I feel the spirit, Nessun Dorma, Down by the riverside, and Baba Yetu.
Their concert at the Rocklands civic centre on Tuesday April 26 was followed by another at Delft civic centre on Thursday May 5.
The programme was curated by chorus master Marvin Kernelle, and made possible by the City of Cape Town.
Among those in the audience at the concerts were pupils and teachers from Cedar High School of Arts, community members, ward councillors, community workers and residents of an old age home in Hanover Park.
“During the dark days of the recent pandemic, acts of courage and generosity in several communities in and around the Mother City inspired Cape Town Opera to join forces with the City of Cape Town in showing appreciation with ‘gratitude concerts,’” said Cape Town Opera’s Lesley Liddle.
“Sometimes in sharing in challenging times, the concerts – which have been held in areas from Goodwood to Retreat, Tygerberg to Grand West, a hospital, a fire station, a home for senior citizens and emergency services headquarters – opened up an extraordinary cultural experience to communities totally unacquainted with the transcendent beauty of opera, particularly when performed by singers of Cape Town Opera’s iconic chorus,” she said.
Cape Town Opera will continue to present the performances once a month to audiences who are unable to afford transport to Artscape Opera House, added Ms Liddle.
“We feel it is right to take opera to the people, rather than expect people to come to the opera.
“Music is such a universally healing experience after the woes of Covid-19. After the lockdown period, space at Artscape has become tight as bookings increase and in areas outside the City there are suitable venues available, mostly community centres.”
Halls at Rocklands civic centre, Retreat and in Delft really allowed for good acoustics and accommodated many people, she noted.
“The thank-you concerts have brought joy to so many people. I saw it first-hand when the Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra wowed the crowd at the Civic Centre a few months ago, and so it is incredibly exciting to hear that the Cape Town Opera is building on this initiative,” said Patricia Van Der Ross, mayoral committee member for community services and health.
“I encourage our residents to partake in these experiences when they come to their areas, not only in support of the arts, but also purely for the amazing experience.”
A Cedar High School pupil who attended the concert but didn’t want to be identified, said he had enjoyed the show and hearing opera for the first time live.