Cape Town Opera presents One in Three, a compilation of powerful opera and play extracts aiming to raise awareness of Gender-Based Violence
The opera extracts are from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Sibusiso Njeza's Amagokra, and the play extract from Marlene van Niekerk's Die Kortstondige Raklewe van Anatasia W.
Performances take place at various venues in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Saldanha, beginning at Artscape.
One in Three, named for the horrifying proportion of abused women and girls in South Africa, opens with its first performance at Artscape on 25 November 2022, the same day as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence launches globally. 25 November is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This global campaign aims to draw awareness to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), a profound and widespread problem throughout the world.
Cape Town Opera’s Artistic Director Magdalene Minnaar has invited several women who are advocates for ending Gender-Based Violence, to share a few words in between the opera performances. An embroidered artwork by featured artist Nell-Louise Pollock, an impassioned GBV activist whose work is integrated into the performance.
Her artwork has also been used as the GBV concert programme cover, a stark piece that represents the women, children and LGBTQIA+ communities that are silenced by Gender-Based Violence.
Extracts from the spirited Porgy and Bess, composed to a libretto by DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin, feature Nonhlanhla Yende as Bess and Mandisinde Mbuyazwe as Crown.
In the story, the titular Bess is abused by her man, Crown, and the drug peddler Sportin’ Life, throughout the opera. Her attempts to find safety and a new life for herself with Porgy are constantly thwarted by the men’s interference and violence, threatening not only her autonomy but also her life.
Amagokra (Heroes), composed by Sibusiso Njeza to an isiXhosa libretto by Fleur du Cap-winning actress and writer Asanda Chuma Sopotela sees Linda Nteleza as Uyinene, Pumza Mxinwa and Lusibalwathu Sesanti as Umfazi, Nonhlanhla Yende as Nomakhwezi and Narrator, joined by the award-winning Cape Town Opera Chorus. The plot grapples with themes of Gender-based violence, femicide, victim-blaming and, ultimately, women’s strength through the ordeal.
Excerpts from Die Kortstondige Raklewe van Anatasia W. (The short shelf-life of Anastasia W.), a play written by Marlene van Niekerk with incidental music by Braam du Toit, features guest artist Nicole Holm as Sus and Cape Town Opera Young Artist Van Wyk Venter as Daan. The play was written in response to the appalling statistics of violence against children in South Africa. The Anastasia named in the title refers to little Annestacia Wiese, the 11-year-old girl who was assaulted and murdered in Mitchell’s Plain in 2007.
- Artscape: Friday 25 November at 6.30pm and on Saturday 26 November at 11am and 3pm.
- White City Multipurpose venue in Saldanha: Free performances on 4 December at 3pm a
- Stellenbosch Town Hall: 11 December at 3pm
One in Three, proudly sponsored by the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and the National Lotteries Commission, is co-directed by Magdalene Minnaar and Christine Crouse, with musical accompaniment by pianist Francois Botha, flutist Solomon Mannel and bassoonist Erika Weber. Movement direction is by Fiona du Plooy, costume design by Maritha Visagie, musical direction by Marvin Kernelle, lighting design by Faheem Bardien and artworks by craftivist Nell-Louise Pollock.
Tickets for all performances are complimentary and have to be booked via email by 23 November 2022