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Amarantha is an opera in seven scenes by composer Thomas Rajna (1928-2021) with a libretto by the composer based on a short story by D W Steele.

The original text

The opera tells a curious story of repressed desire and longing set in the Deep South of the Depression era.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2000: Premiered in November 2000 by Cape Town Opera in conjunction with the University of Cape Town Opera School at the Nico Opera House (25–30 November), with Brad Liebl and Veramarie Meyer, the Cape Town Opera Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Dowdeswell, and set design by Michael Mitchell.


'A crazy obsession'. Mail and Guardian. 1 December 2000.

'Thomas Rajna, excitable pianist and composer who excelled in works by fellow Hungarians – obituary'. The Telegraph. 26 July 2021.

Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

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