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Two:30 is a showcase of two operas presented by Cape Town Opera in Stockholm as part of the 2:30 series in collaboration with the Stockholm Opera Hogskolan (the opera school) and thereafter in Cape Town, staged in a warehouse in Epping (13–15 June 2013).

The operas are:

For more information on each opera, see entries below.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: an Anatomy of a Mining Accident

Using a 1967 miner's dictionary of Fanakalo, issued by the Transvaal Chamber of Mines, the performers declaim and sing in 'call and response' style, mining terms and phrases in Fanakalo with their primary translations from the pages of the dictionary. In addition to the Fanakalo dictionary, a second archival text forms part of the libretto: A register of accidents from the mining company, Simmer and Jack Mines, which is lodged in the Cullinan Library at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The musical language of the opera uses the voices of the singers to create the rhythms and sounds of the miners' tools: shovels, drills, pick axes, explosives, and heavy machinery turn underground life into a cacophony of intense noise. The singers on stage played a specially devised 'sound-sculpture' built by the sculptor and engineer Mark O'Donovan. This instrument is made up of a series of mining picks individually tuned to distinct musical notes.

Sing the Body Electric!

Sing the body Electric! is new work that celebrates the human capacity to change her conditions and envision a new world with poetry and music. In seven embodied songs, four opera-singers perform new music with custom- built technology in a space charged with voices and with musical wires strung from floor to ceiling.

The work is a cross-over between opera, oratorio and choreography - where movement of bodies creates music, sound, space and visual scenography. Developed at the University College of Opera in Stockholm by Carl Unander-Scharin and Åsa Unander-Scharin in close cooperation with the students at the Extended Opera Course and Ludvig Elblaus. The work is an embodied opera, a corporatorio, where music, voice, body, movement and space concur in the performance.

Performed by students from Extended Opera/ University College of Opera in Stockholm.


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 Unpublished PhD thesis.

"A forty-minute one-act subterranean opera". University of Cape Town. 11 July 2013.

"Sing the Body Electric!". Electronic Opera.

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