Big Wig Opera presents Madama Butterfly in September


bigwingoperaBig Wig Opera has announced that it has contracted an all-African leading cast for its upcoming production of Madama Butterfly at the Roodepoort Theatre on Friday, 25 and Sunday, 27 September.

Soprano Bongiwe Madlala Musa will be singing the role of Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly).  Since completing her opera studies at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Opera School she has been performing all across the world.

Mezzo-soprano Nonhlanhla Yende, who will be singing the role of Suzuki, made her operatic debut at the Roodepoort Theatre in 2007 where after she joined Cape Town Opera as a member of its opera training programme.  Apart from her vast repertoire she has studied with opera masters across the globe.

Tenor Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi will be singing the role of Pinkerton.  Another graduate from the TUT Opera School, Moagi has been performing opera all over the world since 2001.

Baritone Thabang Senekal, who will be singing the role of Sharpless, started his opera career with the Black Tie Ensemble (known today as Gauteng Opera).  His repertoire includes roles such as Schaunard (La Bohème), Germont (La Traviata), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor), Escamillo (Carmen) and the name role in Gianni Schicci.

Making his operatic debut is baritone Thabang Modise in the role of Bonz. Modise joined the opera chorus for Aria! Opera for Everyone at the Roodepoort Theatre at the end of 2013 and has excelled as a young singer since then.

The role of Kate will be sung by mezzo-soprano Claudia Pike, who has most recently received her B.Mus Honours degree in Opera from the University of Pretoria.

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Roodepoort Theatre will be directed by tenor Stéfan Louw, who is also the joint artistic director at Big Wig Opera. Louw, who has sung the role of Pinkerton on numerous occasions over the past 20 years, is looking forward to directing another of Big Wig Opera’s productions after directing L’elisir d’amore earlier this year.

This will be the first full opera production by Big Wig Opera and will be performed without any cuts, except the traditional cuts.  Eugene Joubert will once again be the ever-faithful ‘orchestra’ in front of the piano with Schalk J. van der Merwe as the conductor.

Tickets for Madama Butterfly are available from R190 by calling +27 86 167-0670. The premiere on Friday, 25 September starts at 20:00 with the Sunday matinee on 27 September, starting at 15:00.