Alessandro Rota

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Alessandro Rota is an Italian-born tenor


Alessandro Giuseppe Rota came to South Africa around 1931/1932 with the Gonzalez Italian Opera Company from Italy and decided to settle in South Africa.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Along with William Pickerill and John Connell, Rota started the National Opera Company in 1940, which performed three opera seasons.

In 1939, he also established the Cape Town Opera Company, performing full-length operas for more than five years. His next endeavour was the Labia Grand Opera Company, which presented five operas in two years.

Rota produced a production of Madama Butterfly at the Cape Town City Hall in March/April 1948.

Rota produced/directed Carmen and Il trovatore at the Labia Theatre in April 1953.

Later Rota also played a role in the performance of opera in Stellenbosch before being involved in the establishment of the National Opera Association in 1955 and joining the EOAN Group in 1956, when the group performed its first opera.


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 Unpublished PhD thesis.

Sjoerd Alkema. 2012. "Conductors of the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra, 1914-1965: a historical perspective". University of Cape Town. Unpublished PhD thesis.

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