Cape Town Opera in partnership with UCT Opera School, gave
a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Artscape last Friday, May 17.
The opera was performed in Italian, and accompanied by English and IsiXhosa subtitles to accommodate the audience, especially parents who come from other parts of the country to see their children perform.
Lesley Liddle, the marketing manager for Cape Town Opera, said: “The make-up of diversity we have on stage is what we are trying to have in the audience as well, be it different age groups, race, gender and so forth.’’
In ensuring that they gave an outstanding performance, the singers spent time learning the language.
“It is of importance that they know what they are singing, as it helps them in evoking appropriate emotions in the audience,” says Ms Liddle.
Cape Town Opera also works with a number of schools, giving them the opportunity to sit through final dress rehearsals, and experience life before shows.
On Friday afternoon, pupils from disabled schools performed an abbreviated one-hour version of the play.
To accommodate the pupils, they had someone who did sign language and there was assistance with braille for the blind pupils. Ms Liddle says they are serious about transforming and expanding their audience.
The focus is to also show children that they can turn singing opera into a career, and that it’s possible for them to follow their dreams.
Like most industries, Ms Liddle says keeping their doors open has become a big challenge due to a lack of funds.