Winnie The Opera: The Promo

January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Winnie Mandela in 2010, and right, with former husband Nelson Mandela. Photo: AFP/Getty, AP

Her Xhosa name is “Nomzamo,” meaning “Trial (having a hard time in life.)” And what a life she has had! She became the face of a defiant resistance against the racist apartheid South African government when her husband Nelson Mandela was put in prison, and her supporters still call her the “Mother of the Nation.” In 2007 she was denied a visa to enter Canada to attend an opera based on her life, entitled The Passion of Winnie. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela won’t need one this year when  Winnie The Opera opens during Freedom Week in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 28, 2011. Show producer and librettist Warren Wilensky, who was also involved in 2007’s Passion,

Portrait of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

collaborated with the opera’s composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen to showcase the highs and lows of the life of Winnie Mandela. Unlike the earlier opera which tried to deal with her whole life, Winnie the Opera focuses on her appearance at South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, to which she was subpoenaed. According to the producers of the show, the life Ms. Mandela lived was just ripe for the opera. Remaining a highly controversial figure in South Africa, she is loved and respected for her stance and leadership against the apartheid regime, but reviled for the part she is said to have played in some human rights abuses during the late 1980s. “Love her or hate her, come hear her,” implores the opera’s website, which you can view below to get more details on the show.

Winnie The Opera

It will be performed in Xhosa and English, with the lyrics written by Wilensky and co-producer and librettist Mfundi Vundla. Bless…

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