I went to the Opera yesterday evening. Now it’s not as la di da as it sounds. La Scala Di Seta, or The Silken Ladder is a baby, comic opera, directed by Lara Bye for the Suidooster Fees held at this time of the year at Artscape. It’s a, mainly, Afrikaans festival that celebrates plays, music, the written word and all creative things Afrikaans.
So, I am entirely unqualified to talk about the opera. I know nothing about it, don’t understand the music and haven’t seen enough of it to compare it to anything. What I can say is that it was fun and funny and Lara did a cool job with the comedy. The graphic stuff (done by Yawazzi) was my favourite part. All the stuff that happened on the screen was great, from the heart with wings to the different fonts used for the subtitles for the singers. I don’t know who wrote the script for the graphic stuff, but it was totally classic. And hilarious. The singers did well, and probably did more acting than they have ever done before, but it’s really hard when you are really singing all over the place. The experience was a good reminder of how well we ‘do’ opera in TheatreSports.
What I loved the most about going though, was seeing a completely full house. and not just of rich, old, white Afrikaners. There were lots of young people, of different colours, getting stuck in to opera. I definitely think it had to do with the fact that tickets were R75. That makes it totally accessible and affordable. It was full to the rafters; confirming my theory that performance needs to be affordable and people will come. (I heard some inside info that Beauty and The Beast is struggling to pull a crowd. Could it be that the ticket prices are out of reach?) Then there was the Artscape piazza. Chock a block with tents, beer tents, music, food stalls, comfy furniture and lounging people. All on a Sunday evening! I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was too fabulous.