Inspirational night at Opera House

By David Tucker

Published 18/06/2016 | 00:00

John Carney, director of services Wexford County Council; Cllr Tony Dempsey, chairman Wexford County Council; Paul Hennessy, chairman National Opera House; Mayor of Wexford Cllr Ger Carthy; Tom Enright, CEO Wexford Co Co; and David McLoughlin, CEO, Wexford Festival Opera.
John Carney, director of services Wexford County Council; Cllr Tony Dempsey, chairman Wexford County Council; Paul Hennessy, chairman National Opera House; Mayor of Wexford Cllr Ger Carthy; Tom Enright, CEO Wexford Co Co; and David McLoughlin, CEO, Wexford Festival Opera.
Mayor of Wexford Cllr Ger Carthy, Montse and Dick Walsh
Fred and Gearldine Karlsson

MEMBERS of the Cape Town Opera entertained a relatively small, but appreciative audience to an eclectic mix of Opera favourites, a bit of Gershwin and extracts from a trilogy centred on the life and times of Nelson Mandela at the National Opera House last Wednesday night.

From traditional Xhosa choral music, to jazz and jive dancing of the 1950s township dance halls; from struggle songs of the 1980s, to the liberation music of the 1990s, the Mandela Trilogy celebrates the vibrant variety of South African music while dramatising the defining moments that shaped Mandela's life.

The trilogy will be performed at the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin in September as part of a tour of the UK an Ireland.

During Wednesday night's performance, Siphamandla Yakupa, Lukhanyo Moyake, Mandla Mndebele, Pumza Mxinwa, Yamakani Mahaka-Phiri and Candida Mosoma sang a selection of arias from their operatic repertoire and South African folk songs as well as a selection from the Mandela trilogy including 'Ghosts', based around Nelson Mandela's imprisonment at Robben Island.

By the time the second half of the performance closed with Miriam Makeba's 'Click Song' the audience were on their feet for the third time with a standing ovation for some very outstanding and inspiring performers.

Prior to their performance, members of the opera performed at the unveiling of a placque in appreciation of the role of Wexford County Council in furthering the aspirations of the National Opera House. Cape Town Opera (CTO) is a South African Registered Charity that inspires, entertains and develops audiences through its acclaimed stage productions, educational outreach and community development programmes and training and skills development initiatives.

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