Cape Town Opera lifts major prize

2013-04-23 12:59

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The embattled Cape Town Opera is home to the finest opera chorus in the world – according to the prestigious International Opera Awards 2013.

Managing Director Michael Williams received the Best Chorus award on behalf of the company at a ceremony at London’s swanky Hilton Hotel last night.

The chorus was cited for “its energy and exciting commitment, which never fails to communicate itself to an audience and shows again why a chorus can be the backbone of any company”.

The awards attracted 1 500 top-notch nominations from 41 countries.

“This was a climax to all the hard work of the company, particularly the chorus, last year,” said Williams on receiving the trophy.

The opera’s marketing manager, Lesley Liddle, told City Press that the win would boost their chances of securing work overseas. “It’ll encourage further business and hopefully lead to invitations for our chorus, led by Albert Horne, to perform in international opera houses.”

Facing a constant funding crisis, the company performed abroad for three to four months last year. With the chaos around National Lottery funding being delayed they have had to cancel their production Two-30, which was scheduled for June this year.

The award proves once again that local opera is among the finest in the world. Dozens of big name singers working internationally hail from South Africa, especially from development projects. Yet funding support is thin on the ground despite audience support, especially from youths.

Other prize-winners last night include Frankfurt Opera (Opera Company of the Year), The Metropolitan Opera Company (Orchestra of the Year), Jonas Kauffmann (Best Male Singer) and Nina Stemme (Best Female Singer).

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