An African La Bo­hème

CityPress - - T# - GRETHE KOEN grethe.koen@city­

Even peo­ple with very lit­tle knowl­edge of opera will have heard of Gi­a­como Puc­cini’s 1896 opus, La Bo­hème.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, it ranks with Car­men, La Travi­ata, Tosca and Madame But­ter­fly as one of the world’s most pop­u­lar operas, and is the sec­ond most per­formed piece of all time.

This clas­sic work is now be­ing adapted into a South African film by direc­tor Mark Dorn­ford-May. He heads the team that brought the ac­claimed U-Car­men eKhayelit­sha, an isiXhosa ver­sion of Car­men, to the screen. The film won a pres­ti­gious Golden Bear at the Ber­lin Film Fes­ti­val in 2005.

More than any com­pany, the team has suc­ceeded in mak­ing opera ac­ces­si­ble in South Africa.

The shoot­ing for Breathe –


HIGH NOTES From left: Mh­lekazi Mosiea will be play­ing Lun­gelo; lead ac­tress Pauline Malefane with the Golden Bear award that U-Car­men eKhayelit­sha

won at the Ber­lin Film Fes­ti­val in 2005; and a poster of the movie U-Car­men eKhayelit­sha

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