Shows postponed due to UCT protests

Students march to the UCT Upper campus earlier this week.

The ongoing protests at UCT have necessitated postponements and a venue change for shows being staged at the campus.

A five-day opera production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, involving music students from the University of Cape Town’s Opera School, the South African College of Music (SACM) and Cape Town Opera (CTO) singers, has been postponed to a date yet to be decided.

The Magic Flute was scheduled to open on Tuesday September 27.

“We acknowledge that the production has been eagerly awaited by audience members and students alike. However, we also acknowledge the importance of the issues that are being addressed by students, including some who are involved in The Magic Flute production,” said UCT spokesperson Thami Nkwanyane.

Due to classes, lectures and tutorials being suspended at UCT following student protests on campus, musicians and singers involved in the production have already missed a few important rehearsals.

Professor Rebekka Sandmeier, director of UCT’s College of Music, said: “We have already lost five rehearsals since Friday. We could not rehearse last night (Tuesday September 20) so we won’t be able to take part in the production”.

She said the rehearsals for the shows are like lectures to the students while the shows themselves act as examinations.

Associate Professor Farida Bacharova, head of orchestral studies at the college, said the UCT Symphony Orchestra had a history of collaboration with the CTO and UCT opera productions, and the quality of those productions has always been professional.

“The orchestra was looking forward to this year’s production of The Magic Flute, and the members had prepared their parts. We have already done a lot of rescheduling in order to accommodate the protests, but the protests have disrupted the rehearsal and preparation of the opera to such an extent that we are currently in a position where, if we are not allowed to rehearse further, the production will not be adequately prepared. We would like to proceed with this project, however, we feel that this decision lies beyond our control,” Ms Bacharova said.

George Stevens, a lecturer at the college, said: “For the singers, it means great disappointment after having spent hours of musical preparation and language coaching that needs to be memorised before the first production rehearsal.”

“CTO will publicise dates for the postponed run as soon as they are finalised.

Ticket holders can contact Computicket for a full refund, or call CTO for more information.  At Cape Town Opera, they can speak to John on (021) 410 9919, Masixole on (021) 410 9960 or Alicia on (021) 410 9807.

UCT’s drama department has also postponed the popular Binge Theatre until further notice.

The protest disruptions have also meant a venue change for the NLC/ACT Performing Arts Scholarship Showcase. This will now take place in the Masambe Theatre at the Baxter.

For further enquiries, please feel free to contact Remy on 0791505332.