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Opera training in action


Born from a lifelong passion for opera training and development, this Darling-based opera company is redefining the way opera training is delivered in South Africa.


Established in 2012, this education and training wing of AGL Opera drives to continuously explore new, fresh and alternative methods of delivering opera training, channelling beauty and excellence while creating hope among promising young singers and directors throughout Southern Africa. 


Driven by passion and an awareness of the impact of opera on human development, Opera in Darling strives to bring spiritual awareness to our aspiring young singers and directors, maximizing creativity, ingenuity and delivering hope. 


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Opera in Darling's new production of Mozart's outwardly comical masterpiece aims like it's predecessors Don Giovanni and Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail to charm, to seduce and to make us reconsider what it means to be human


As one can expect from the pioneer of "alla breve opera" in South Africa, the original work has been condensed to its musical substance, performed by six young singers, and accompanied not by an orchestra but by a pianist only. It has a present-day storyline without stage set and costumes; props reduced to a bare minimum. Ideal for a little town in South Africa called Darling. But opera in Darling's previous productions grew legs that took them to Oudtshoorn, Mossel Vay, Greyton, Stellenbosch, Vredenburg, Elgin, and London, to a cutting edge theatre, the Tricycle.


The new opera is set in a cozy ladies bar in a West Coast seaside resort. The emotions and devotions of lovers are challenged by the bartender, who believes that women are not to be trusted when it comes to love. As the audience is enjoying their sundowners they become the judges in a story of exploitation of two pairs of lovers, wondering what "real love" is.


It is being directed, in Opera in Darling's customary witty fashion, by the exciting young Xolane Marman, based on a script by multi-talent Dr. Johannes van Staden-Slabbert, well known to music lovers who have seen and heard him in Opera in Darling's previous productions. 


Musical director and accompanist are again the fabulous Dr. Lisa Engelbrecht, one of South Africa's most highly regarded vocal coaches.


The singers are some of the best students and recent graduates of UCT and its world-renown opera school. They present Mozart's treasure-chest of arias with amazing voices and tell the story with great comedic talent.