Committie does opera! But talks

2015-09-01 06:00
Alan Committie  

JK Kramer

Alan Committie PHOTO: JK Kramer

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In a first for Cape Town Opera, leading stand-up comedian Alan Committie takes to the Artscape Opera House stage in The merry widow of Malagawi, which premieres on Saturday.

Playing the spoken role of Njegus, Committie is thrilled to be working with Cape Town Opera.

“For the sake of the audience, I am pleased that they haven’t asked me to sing in this show!” he quipped.

Better known for his starring role in Defending the caveman and theatre productions like Little shop of horrors, Committie is also a writer, director and award-winning actor.

He’ll be performing alongside British soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn, noted for her “gorgeously toned and rapturous” singing (The Guardian) in the role of Hanna Glawari.

South African/Portuguese soprano Filipa van Eck, praised in Opera Magazine for her “spirited, playful and delicious performance”, returns from the UK to sing Valencienne, and Aubrey Lodewyk sings the role of Danilo, the elusive bachelor.

Through generous funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Cape Town Opera is proud to present this new adaptation of Franz Lehár’s The merry widow, with witty new lyrics and dialogue written by acclaimed director Janice Honeyman.

Replacing the fictional Pontevedro of the original story with the newly invented state of Malagawi, this new production plays out amongst the glamorous elite of a contemporary African metropolis. The themes prevalent in Lehár’s early 20th-century Vienna – women’s suffrage, the growth of industrialism and the movement from rural to urban economies – mirror many current situations on our continent. The merry widow of Malagawi is a light-hearted exploration of diplomatic intrigue, capitalism and true love.

At the helm of the production is Honeyman with costume designs by Birrie le Roux, set designs by Michael Mitchell, lighting by Mannie Manim and choreography by ­Sean Bovim. Cape Town Opera associate music director Tim Murray conducts the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

This production of The merry widow of Malagawi has been developed in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre. V

Tickets are available from Computicket. Visit for more information

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