Oude Libertas Theatre

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The Oude Libertas Theatre is an open-air theatre in Stellenbosch

Not to be confused with the Klein Libertas Teater also in Stellenbosch.


Also referred to as the Oude Libertas Amfiteater (in Afrikaans), the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre (in English), or simply the Oude Libertas in both languages.

The history

A well equipped 430 seat venue, it was built against the side of Papegaaiberg [“Parrot Mountain”] in Stellenbosch by Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery in 1977. Designed with the help of the then technical director of the National Theatre of Greece, it was built of cement,, but in classical style, as a half-moon amphitheatre built into the hill and surrounded by pine trees and vinyards.

The complex also has a restaurant and a conference venue. Marietha Channell was appointed manager of the theatre in 1984 and ran an annual summer season since its official opening in December 1977 with a concert by Vladimir Ashkenazy. The fare consists of commissioned work as well as work bought in and among the major works they have done over the years are **, **.

In 2001 Stellenbosch Farmers Wineries and the Distiller's Corporation amalgamated to form Distell, which went on to fund the theatre, with Marietha Channell still as manager.

In 200* the theatre was let to ** and was run by Karen Meiring and ***

In 200* it again changed hands, with ** becoming the director.


Oude Libertas produced and presented several operas, including:

1994: Die Zauberflöte

1998: (with CAPAB Opera) Don Pasquale

1999: Die Entführung aus dem Serail


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 Unpublished PhD thesis.

For more information

See Open-air theatre

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