Opera shows in Cape Town

Cape Town Opera

Opera shows in Cape Town

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Cape Town Opera

Opera shows in Cape Town

Cape Town Opera’s festival, from comedy to high drama

Last updated: 8 April 2024

Cape Town Opera’s latest festival is a chance to experience award-winning opera at a fraction of the cost, and time. The bite-sized shows include the world premiere of Trial by Media, a story about the effect of social media on the Oscar Pistorius trial, a Mozart comedy and a one-woman production. Shorts: A Festival of Pocket Operas is on from 11 - 21 April at the Artscape Arena. 

Shorts: A Festival of Pocket Operas is on from 11 April 2024. Image: Cape Town Opera


Cape Town Opera is one of the largest full-time performing arts institutions in South Africa, with 57 full-time employees and numerous awards under its belt, from Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards to international opera awards. And it’s the only continuously active opera company in Africa.

As part of its 25th birthday celebration, the opera group is hosting a 10-day festival. It's a chance to experience opera for R150 (South African opera tickets can cost up to R1 500). Shorts: A Festival of Pocket Operas shows are also just an hour long.


It’s the story that shocked the country, and the world, over 10 years ago. Conrad Asman’s new Trial by Media delves into the complexities and effects of media coverage and public perception of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Van Wyk Venter, a member of Cape Town Opera’s Judith Neilson Young Artist programme, portrays Oscar Pistorius, alongside Brittany Smith as the spirit of Reeva Steenkamp. It's her first show since her Fleur du Cap Theatre Award-winning role as Maria in The Sound of Music. No under 10s are allowed into Trial By Media.

This opera is directed by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer. Image: Cape Town Opera


This rendition of Mozart’s comic opera, Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), is set in contemporary Cape Town and presented in English. The Impresario, which first debuted in 1786, satirically exposes the absurdities of the opera world, through witty dialogue and lively characters. It brings a lighthearted touch to the festival lineup. 

Musical direction is by pianist and vocal coach Robin Phillips. This marks his first production in his home country in 24 years, after working at various opera houses, universities and festivals around the world. 

Cape Town Opera is celebrating 25 years. Image: Cape Town Opera


This one-woman opera features soprano Janelle Visagie as The Woman, a role that earned her the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Female Opera Singer in 2018. 

Based on Jean Cocteau’s 1950s play, and directed by Magdalene Minnaar, La voix humaine (The Human Voice) portrays the emotional turmoil of a woman's final internal conversation and the effects of dementia. Through haunting music and vulnerability, it showcases themes of love and loss. Parental guidance is advised for La voix humaine

Janelle Visagie (pictured) is The Woman in La voix humaine. Image: Cape Town Opera


Shorts: A Festival of Pocket Operas is on: 11 - 21 April 2024
Find it: Artscape Arena, 32 Rua Vasco Da Gama Plain, CBD
Cost: From R150 to R280 per person
Book: Cape Town Opera at Artscape Arena
Contact on: info@capetownopera.co.za, Facebook, @capetownopera 

By Lara van Zyl



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