Happy Birthday from Cape Town
The production, which sets the piece in a derelict building in Johannesburg, was full of life and colour and transferring the action from the United States to South Africa certainly worked for me. Its themes of poverty and racism and the depiction of a community where drug abuse and violence are commonplace strike chords throughout the world.
I'd forgotten that I'd heard some of the Cape Town Opera singers before. They'd performed at the grand opening concert of WMC and perhaps the most moving moment this week was when Xolela Sixaba who sang Porgy came forward at the curtain call to mark the centre's birthday and then led the entire cast in singing Happy Birthday. It brought a tear to my eye - but then I'm the one who cries in just about every Disney cartoon!