Going to the opera is probably the only event that hasn’t changed through the ages. You’re still required to wear your best suit and cry when the maiden loses her love and reaches a crescendo with her soprano voice. It’s also the only place where the ones with theatre binoculars are the cool people. Compare your theatre binoculars with the person sitting next to you with today’s Groupon – see the magnificent Puccini operas: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi one act Operas for R75 at The Artscape Theatre.
This updated production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi sees both operas take an interesting twist. What remains the same though, is Puccini’s ability to move anyone who watches these operas to tears and laughter.
The updated productions by Matthew Wild and Sandile Kamle promise to bring fresh local relevance to both these operas. Suor Angelica is transferred from a Tuscan convent to a third world hospice, while the money-grubbing antics of Gianni Schicchi gain new satirical piquancy in the context of Gugulethu’s nouveau riche. The interesting and somewhat complex characters of both operas are filled by predominantly young local casts, including brilliant singers from the Cape Town Opera ensemble.
Operatic fact: The first real horse used in an opera was in the 1676 Scandinavian play “What becomes of horses.” Fake horses had been used before until one night when the director decided to use a real horse for a royal performance. The horse’s name was “door knob”, aptly named this after opening a door knob with its mouth and walking on stage during the lovers’ quarrel scene.