World-class Candide takes to the stageHannie Hefer Promotions
The Reakopana Opera Festival’s inaugural production will be Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, to be staged at Pretoria’s Atterbury Theatre in August.
Yves Senn of Switzerland’s L’Avant-Scène Opéra will conduct, direct and co-produce the production, with South African lyric tenor Herman Theron singing the title role. Further casting details will be announced shortly.
This delightful, light-hearted operetta will take to the stage of the Atterbury Theatre on 18, 19 and 21 August 2012. Senn, who has previously collaborated on projects with La Scala in Italy, Paris Opera in France, and Opera La Monnaie in Belgium, will also be presenting master classes for solo voice in Pretoria on 17 and 20 August 2012.
Reakopana – meaning “We are coming together” – is a pioneering new inter-continental collaboration involving artists from South Africa and Switzerland, and is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland.
The festival is designed to generate work for both South African and Swiss performing artists and technicians while fostering cultural cooperation and providing classical music aficionados with access to much-loved works from the operatic repertoire.
Reakopana is the brainchild of Theron and Senn, who became friends while studying under Nicolai Gedda in Switzerland almost a decade ago. Theron has sung principal roles in Verdi’s La Traviata and Bernstein’s West Side Story at the L’Avant-Scène opera house, where Senn is currently artistic director.
Candide is a comic operetta based on the satirical novella of the same name by Voltaire, with music composed by Bernstein, libretto by Hugh Wheeler and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim and others. In its various incarnations over the years since its 1957 première, the piece has scooped several Tony and Olivier awards.
It tells the light-hearted story of Candide, the illegitimate nephew of a baron who is determined to live a life of optimism – no matter what. Despite being exiled from his homeland, captured by Bulgarians, beaten senseless by the Spanish Inquisition, robbed of his worldly possessions and separated from the woman he loves, he clings to the belief that it’s all for the best.
In this, Reakopana’s first production, the lead roles will be shared by Swiss and South African singers, and the Pretoria performances will feature a local ensemble and musicians. When the production travels to Switzerland later this year, the South African character leads will sing alongside an ensemble and musicians from L’Avant-Scène Opéra.
Production and booking details for Candide:
Venue: Atterbury Theatre, corner of Lynnwood and Daventry roads, Pretoria East
Dates and times:
- Saturday, 18 August 2012 at 8pm (première);
- Sunday, 19 August at 5pm; and
- Tuesday, 21 August at 8pm.
Booking details: Computicket – phone 083 915 8000 or visit www.computicket.com.
Ticket prices: R130 to R150
For more information, visit www.reakopanafestival.co.za, check out the festival’s Facebook page, or e-mail email@example.com
Hannie Hefer Promotions
011 793 2334
082 458 3522
Reakopana Opera Festival
Web site: http://www.reakopanaoperafestival.co.za
Atterbury Theatre, 4 Daventry Street corner Lynnwood Road Lynnwood Pretoria Gauteng South Africa