Yesterday was truly a memorable evening at The Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Hundreds gathered to see the first showing of the Cape Town Opera’s Mandela Trilogy. It was the first time I myself had attended an opera (and I smile at the irony that my first should be African produced, created and themed). However this production was no ordinary show. Marrying together the culture of South African history and spirit with the tradition and discipline of theatrical opera, a union was formed which was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.

The melodious harmonies accompanied with the beautiful sounds of the orchestra brought to life the story of Mandela in art form which many before would not have seen; we have read about Mandela, seen artwork perhaps even drooled over Idris Elba as he played the role of South Africa’s leader but how many of us have seen the story retold in opera?

As the show takes us from young Mandela’s rites into manhood until the day of his release from unlawful imprisonment, the audience is moved by the powerful way music translates each of these stages. This translation is even able to transcend barriers if language by fluidly weaving Xhosa, Africaan and English together.

With all the activities going on at The Southbank Centre over the next four days, this tribute is definitely not one to be missed! You can find tickets here.

Were you there with us yesterday or have you seen the Opera already? What was the experience like for you? Share your comments with us below.

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AUTHOR: Ama Badu (Senior Online Editor)

For reviews, premiers and red carpet events on the Afro-British scene, Ama is your go-to blogger. With an analytical mind and articulate pen, she hopes to write articles that will get Africa (and indeed the world) discussing “real” issues and tangible solutions.

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