Winning film is tribute

2017-11-07 06:00

I had the wonderful honour of working with the first lead tenor of colour, the late Ronald Theys who died in 2014.

We met initially at Spes Bona High School in Athlone in 1977, performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, starring Denise Newman as Miranda, Alexander Sinton High English teacher Robert Green as Prospero and Reggie Norris (who later emigrated to Australia) as Caliban, and again the following year at the Eoan Group performing in the production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

Ronnie Theys, an opera tenor of note, was cast in acting roles with me. He lived in Mitchell’s Plain and worked for Montays Furnishers. His love for opera never waned, despite the adversities of apartheid while growing up in District Six, and he proudly educated me in his craft and the Eoan Group’s historical visit to Europe with my cousin, soprano singer Vera Gow. Ronnie was a prankster too, and I enjoyed his humour. My last encounter with Ronnie was in London in July 1998, when he was invited with his tenor colleagues to perform in Brighton.

I’m proud of his son Nathan’s epic achievement of winning at the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival, and Ronnie would have been equally proud.

May Nathan’s film be successful and Ronnie’s memory live long – a befitting tribute to his legacy.

Mark Kleinschmidt Kenwyn

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