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A South African Group Gives Opera an African Feel

Unathi Kondile | VOICE OF AMERICA   in 
August 29, 2014

Isango Ensemble is a theatre group that does musicals, plays and opera with an added African twist. Their work focuses on re-imagining classics from Western theater and re-contextualizing them in a South African township setting.

They recently flew back to the city following good reviews of their theater performances at The Globe and Hackney Empire Auditorium in London, as well as the Admiral’s Palace in Berlin.

Thet group’s musical director Mandisi Dyantyis said in London, the ensemble played for the Shakespeare Festival:

“They were surprised to see what we had done. They had not seen that much music in a long time. We went to Hackney [Empire Auditorium in London] where we were tackling three shows at once. The audiences were so receptive. The whole of Hackney welcomed us. They sort of understood. We use, sometimes, things that are strictly South African, but they get them – they get the stories. And then we went to Berlin, Germany – where we did The Magic Flute.”

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