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KENTRIDGE & WINE FOR MAGIC FLUTE (article first published : 2007-02-16)

Internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge and Rand Merchant Bank, which is bringing the Kentridge production of Mozart's The Magic Flute to South Africa later this year, have committed to raising additional funds to provide matinee performances free of charge to schoolchildren from previously disadvantaged communities.

Kentridge has granted six of South Africa's leading red wine producers the opportunity to use selected Magic Flute images for their label design - a creative initiative between the wine industry, culture and the arts, proposed to meet the substantial costs of this outreach initiative.

Says Carolynne Waterhouse, Head of Public Affairs at Rand Merchant Bank: "Over the years the RMB brand has benefited from strong alliances with both the magic of music and the world of wine through the Starlight Classics concerts and RMB WineX, but this convergence of opera, art, technology and now wine, is indeed unique. The launch of the Kentridge-clad great wines will result in the genius of Mozart and the wizardry of Kentridge reaching and inspiring disadvantaged children from Cape Town and Johannesburg."

Michael Fridjhon, who shares a long association with RMB through the RMB WineX Festival, provided a shortlist of South Africa's leading red wine cellars. The cellars selected to participate in the initiative, include Boekenhoutskloof, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Meerlust, Quoin Rock, Rustenberg and Tokara.

Each cellar has chosen a reserve wine selection - in quantities ranging from 50 to 500 cases - for sale under the cellar's name, although each selection will now bear its own unique Kentridge label design, drawn from among the various covetable images produced by Kentridge for The Magic Flute sets.

The Kentridge editions will sell at a premium with the additional income accruing from this enabling the wineries each to donate R50,000 to contribute towards the costs of the special matinee performances for children.

It is especially Kentridge's spectacular set designs for the opera that have won critical acclaim in the various European capitals where the work has been performed over the past two years. Not only will South African audiences have the opportunity to enjoy these striking and multi-layered sets, costume designs, and Kentridge's own individual approach to one of Mozart's most popular musical theatre pieces. They will also get a taste of some of South Africa's best red wines, delectably dressed in a Kentridge-designed Magic Flute label.

"Being a powerful blend of the traditional and innovative, Kentridge's production of The Magic Flute fits well with the RMB brand promise of Traditional values. Innovative ideas," concludes Waterhouse.

Performances of The Magic Flute will take place in Cape Town and Johannesburg in September. Tickets are on sale at Computicket, starting at R220. For more information, visit the dedicated web site at www.magicflute.co.za




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