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LINDA & BONGANI FOR FIDELIO (article first published : 2004-03-11)

Well-known Durban singers Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe have been invited to take part in the production of Beethoven’s Fidelio that is scheduled to be performed on March 27 on Robben Island as part of the international celebrations of 10th anniversary of South African democracy.

They will sing the lyric roles of Marzelline and Jacquino, appearing opposite the great South African-born dramatic soprano Elizabeth Connell in the title role. The production is by Cape Town Opera under Prof Angelo Gobbatto, and will be staged in collaboration with a Scandinavian funding agency. The choice of repertoire is highly significant as the opera deals with the theme of emancipation from tyranny, with its famous Prisoner’s Chorus being one of the highlights of the opera which is itself set in a prison (Leonore, disguised in male attire as “Fidelio” saves her politically incarcerated husband, Florestan etc).

The duo will also be appearing on the South African national opera stage mid year, singing the lead roles of Leila (soprano) and Nadir (tenor) in Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, another Cape Town Opera staging, which is this year’s flagship production at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Performances will be from June 1 to 3.




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