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Cape Town Opera comes to Whitechapel for Mandela workshop

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 July 2012

Otto Maidi as Porgy and Nonhlanhla Yende as Bess

Otto Maidi as Porgy and Nonhlanhla Yende as Bess

Helen Maybanks (free promo)

The internationally acclaimed Cape Town Opera, whose production of Porgy & Bess opens today at The London Coliseum (July 11), is running a workshop on Monday for pupils at a school in London's deprived East End in recognition of Mandela Day.

They are turning up at Whitechapel’s Thomas Buxton Primary to teach youngsters aged 10 and 11 to sing the iconic tune ‘Summertime’ with cast members.

Cape Town Opera has ‘relocated’ Gershwin’s classic story about the search for happiness amid deprivation to the Soweto township, making it relevant to the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to mark Mandela’s 94th birthday next Wednesday.

Mandela Day is an annual celebration of his life and values and a global call for individuals to give 67 minutes of their time to benefit others in recognition of the 67 years Mandela spent campaigning for human rights including three decades in a South African jail during Apartheid.

The Opera cast is spending 67 minutes—and more—doing just that, teaching the youngsters a Gershwin gem.

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