In a first for Cape Town Opera, leading stand-up comedian Alan Committie will take to the Opera House stage in ‘The Merry Widow of Malagawi’, which premieres at Artscape on Saturday, September 5, and runs until September 12. Tickets are available at Computicket.
Playing the spoken role of Njegus, Committie is thrilled to be working with Cape Town Opera. “For the sake of the audience, I am pleased that they haven’t asked me to sing in this show,” he quips. Better known for his starring role in ‘Defending the Caveman’ and theatre productions including ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘A Load of Bull’, ‘Perfect Wedding’ and ‘No, Seriously’, Committie is also a writer, director and award-winning actor. Joining Committie on stage is British soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn, noted for her “gorgeously toned and rapturous” singing (The Guardian) in the role of Hanna Glawari. South African/Portuguese soprano Filipa van Eck, praised in Opera Magazine for her “spirited, playful and delicious performance”, returns from the UK to sing Valencienne, and Aubrey Lodewyk sings the role of Danilo, the elusive bachelor. “We’re thrilled to have assembled such a captivating cast for this new production,” says CTO Artistic Director Matthew Wild. “Operetta doesn’t only require gorgeous voices; it also needs sparkling personalities and a cheeky sense of humour – qualities which our leads have in spades.”
Through generous funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Cape Town Opera is proud to present this new adaptation of Franz Lehár’s ‘The Merry Widow’, with witty new lyrics and dialogue written by Janice Honeyman – who also directs the production. Replacing the fictional Pontevedro of the original story with the newly invented state of Malagawi, this new production plays out amongst the glamorous elite of a contemporary African metropolis. The themes prevalent in Lehár’s early 20th-century Vienna – women’s suffrage, the growth of industrialism and the movement from rural to urban economies – mirror many current situations on our continent. ‘The Merry Widow of Malagawi’ is a light-hearted theatrical and musical exploration of diplomatic intrigue, capitalism, and true love.
* For an extra-special night-at-the-opera experience, the Show & Stay Package includes dinner, one night’s accommodation at the SunSquare Cape Town, a Tsogo Sun hotel, a buffet breakfast, first tier show tickets to The Merry Widow of Malagawi, plus a complimentary souvenir programme and transport to and from Artscape for just R1700 for two people sharing. Bookings can be made online at Computicketdeals.com or at Computicket outlets.