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Sunday, July 24, 2011


Mandela Trilogy celebrates the vibrant variety of South African music while dramatising the defining moments that shaped Mandela’s life. From prisoner to President and from Nobel Laureate to revered statesman, Nelson Mandela is hailed across the globe as a treasured icon. The life of this great man who changed the course of South African history is a fascinating and inspiring tale, now told in this staged cultural showpiece.

Mandela Trilogy is Cape Town Opera’s musical tribute to the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, written by Michael Williams with music by Allan Stephenson, Mike Campbell and Peter Louis van Dijk. The production, which is on its South African tour, comes to Durban for four performances at the Playhouse. Thereafter, it moves to the Teatro at Montecasino, Johannesburg.

With the world’s eyes focused on South Africa in 2010, Michael Williams felt the time was right to create a large-scale stage work about the life of Nelson Mandela. Faced with such complex and significant subject matter, Williams settled on a multifaceted triptych structure, concentrating on three key periods in Madiba’s life, each composed in a different musical style.

The production opens with an oratorio dramatising formative moments in Mandela’s early years in the Transkei, as composer Allan Stephenson weaves traditional Xhosa songs into a classical framework. Mandela as revolutionary is brought to life in Mike Campbell’s jazzy Sophiatown act, before Peter Louis van Dijk’s final act examines the Robben Island years and the final walk to freedom.

Funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and presented by Cape Town Opera and Rand Merchant Bank in association with KayaFM, Mandela Trilogy is a major home-grown work featuring an entirely South African 40-member cast and multiple award winning South African singer and recording artist, Gloria Bosman, in a leading role.

Gloria Bosman started her singing career in her local church choir and went on to share the stage with many local stars such as Sibongile Khumalo, Victor Masondo, Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela. This All Africa KORA Award Winner has performed to former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

Enthusiastically received in Cape Town in 2010, a revised version of Mandela Trilogy travels with the Voice of the Nation Ensemble and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in preparation of its international tour in 2012.

Mandela Trilogy runs in the Playhouse from July 29 to 31 and promises enjoyable entertainment for the entire family with added educational benefits for students. Performances on July 29 at 19h30, July 30 at 15h00 and 19h30, and on July 31 at 15h00. Tickets range from R100 to R165 (R85 to R150 for matinees) Booking is at Computicket.