Four:30 – Operas Made in South Africa

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Four:30 – Operas Made in South Africa is a showcase of four South African operas presented by Cape Town Opera and UCT Opera School onstage at the Artscape Theatre (21–29 November 2015).

Kamal Khan conducted the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, with set design by Michael Mitchell, lighting design by Kobus Rossouw and costumes designed by Leigh Bishop. Orchestration by Alan Stephenson.

The operas are:

For more information on each opera, see entries below.

The Application

The opera by Robert Fokkens tells the story of an old lady wishing to travel to the UK for her grandson's wedding. She has never left South Africa before and must apply to Home Affairs for her first ever passport - a process which proves rather more troublesome that she expected. Fokkens worked with director Geoffrey Hyland and Welsh librettist Laurence Allen.

Blood of Mine

Adapted from the short story (Blood of Mine) by Wame Molefhe. Directed by Marcus Desando. Choreography by Sifiso Kweyama.

Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa

Directed by Marcus Desando. Choreography by Sifiso Kweyama.


Directed by Geoffrey Hyland.


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 Unpublished PhD thesis.

"Cape Town opera premiere". Cardiff University.

‘FOUR: 30’ Operas proudly made in South Africa opens 25 November. B Sharp Entertainment.

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Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions