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Duration: 45 minutes

Opera in Cape Town is a vibrant affair, giving some of its poorest inhabitants hope for a better life. This documentary tells the story of a year in the lives of three courageous black singers from the townships. All grew up surrounded by poverty, crime and despair, but thanks to their terrific voices they can create a new future for themselves.

16-year-old Mandelaki, born and raised in the townships, is so poor that she is forced to sleep in shifts in the one family bed. A member of her school choir, the girl neighbours call Carmen dreams of a better life by becoming an opera star. 18-year-old Thami lives in a modest tin hut, struggling to support his family. A successful opera audition could be the solution he has been searching for. And lucky Fikile, a young man brought up in poverty, is already on his way to the New York Met.

Opera is not a tradition amongst the black people of South Africa, yet these singers, once an untapped talent, are now poised to escape their disadvantaged roots and realise their dreams.

Last on

Mon 12 Jul 2010 03:30 BBC Four

  • Opera on the BBC

    Opera on the BBC

    This programme is part of a major new collection across the BBC celebrating opera through the eyes of the world's leading singers, conductors, directors and opera enthusiasts.

    Go to the Opera on the BBC website

Credits

Director
Barbara Weissenbeck

Broadcasts

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