"Mandela Trilogy" pays tribute to South Africa's monumental hero

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      "Mandela Trilogy", a musical integrating opera, jazz, Broadway musical and traditional Xhosa song and dance, will be staged from November 17 to 19 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) to tell Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former South African President Nelson Mandela's moving life story. The programme also marks the closing of the World Cultures Festival 2017 - Vibrant Africa, which is organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

     The musical opens at Transkei with the tribal rites of passage of royally descended 16-year-old Mandela, accompanied by exuberant Xhosa chanting, drumming and dance. The action then moves to the black cultural hub of Sophiatown in Johannesburg, where free-spirited jazz numbers counterpoint the social tension of life under apartheid.

The final act portrays the freedom fighter's 27 years of unjust incarceration and astounding wisdom and dignity, as highlighted in a stirring prison aria, and eventual liberation. Each part of the trilogy highlights a defining moment that reveals the character and the struggles of Mandela.

     First staged in South Africa in 2010 by the Cape Town Opera, the dynamic production has since toured internationally to great acclaim. The Hong Kong production is jointly performed with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Opera Chorus to create an authentic dramatisation of the legendary leader.

     The production features Michael Williams as director/librettist, Péter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell as composers, Tim Murray as conductor and Marvin Kernelle as chorus master and South African vocalists Thato Machona, Musanete Sakupwanya and Mandla Mndebele playing the role of Mandela.

     An exhibition entitled "Nelson Mandela: Voice of the Nation" is being held at the HKCC Foyer until November 18 featuring the characters and scenes in "Mandela Trilogy" and the life of Nelson Mandela.

In addition, a foyer performance will also be held at the HKCC Foyer on November 18 at 3pm featuring traditional songs of South Africa and stirring excerpts of the show.

     "Mandela Trilogy" (in English and Xhosa with Chinese and English surtitles) will be held at 8pm on November 17 and 18 and at 3pm on November 19 at the HKCC Grand Theatre. Tickets priced at $180, $280, $380, $480 and $580 are now available at URBTIX (http://www.urbtix.hk" target="_blank">www.urbtix.hk). For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999.

     For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2370 1044 or visit http://www.worldfestival.gov.hk" target="_blank">www.worldfestival.gov.hk.

Published on: 2017-11-10

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