Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist: Lorenzo Da Ponte
Mozart and Da Ponte took as a theme “fiancée swapping” which dates back to the 13th century, with notable earlier versions being those of Boccaccio’s Decameron and Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline. Elements from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew are also present
Time: the 18th century
Gauteng opera prides itself with the passion for excellence in performance and very much in training. With 21 trainees and studio members in the company we wanted to make our first production one that will be great entertainment for our public and also be educational for our trainees. So a composer like Mozart is ideal for young developing voices and also allows us to cast the Opera with South Africans of great talent who will also be role models for our trainees and studio members.
With all the above in mind the idea of modernising the production was then compelling. Compelling in a sense due to the transferable nature of the opera’s period and also that the story is still very relevant today as it did in the 18 century when it was composed. We were very fortunate that the cast is young and also understand the concept of relevance whilst maintaining a very high level of performance expectation, and with this new production, the concept of Cosi Fan Tutte is set in the present period and in a seaside escape where the rich and the navy can mix. It will explore the sites of opulence within the ridiculousness of the rich girls and their very fickle lovers.
Fiordiligi : Nozuko Teto
Dorabella : Annemarie Steenkamp
Despina : Teresa De Wit
Ferrando : Phenye Modiane
Guglielmo : Aubrey Lodewyk
Don Alfonso : Douwe Bijkersma
Production and creative Team
Conductor: Alex Fokkens
Director: Marcus Desando
Set Designer: Nadine Minnaar
Lighting Designer: Wilhelm Disbergen
Costume Designer: Arnold Cloete
Nozuko Teto was born in Bizana, Eastern Cape. She is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a BMUS and PGDIP The University of Cape Town. The she has interpreted roles in, Der Rosenkavalier, L’elisir D’Amore, Il Viaggio a Reims, Sor Angelica, La Boheme, Porgy and Bess, The marriage of Figaro,Mandela Trilogy ,Rewind: A Cantata for Voice, Tape, and Testimony of Phillip Miller; Nozuko has won numerous scholarships including the Mellon Foundation, Apollo, the Trust Out of Trust Africa and the Foundation Claude Leon.
Thanks to a scholarship from the Nicolai Ghiaurov Trust, Miss Teto has been studying with the famous soprano Mirella Freni at her academy “CUBEC-Mirella Freni” since 2011 October. Since then she has sung in several concerts at the Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti in Modena with the Puccini Festival Orchestra, a debut conert at the Concertgebouw with the Sinfonia Rotterdam Orchestra, and debuted in the role of Mimi in La Bohéme in South Africa. As the winner of the international singing competition , “Toti del Monte” 2013, Nozuko is currently interpreting the role of Mimì from La Bohème at the Teatro Mario del Monaco in Treviso Italy. In 2014 you will perform the role of Lauretta from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in Belluno, Italy this performance is her debut for Gauteng Opera, as Fiordiligi and also in Pretoria
Annemarie Steenkamp has been involved with music from a very young age. Annemarie continued her vocal studies at the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal art department. The university awarded Annemarie an overall Bursary for the best student in the Performing Arts Department. She also received distinctions for both her National Diploma and B Tech Art Degree, completing both Cum Laude.
In 2012 she completed her BMus Honours at the University of Pretoria; receiving tutelage from the renowned soprano Hanli Stapela. She has taken part in numerous TUT and Opera Africa productions. During 2012 Annemarie participated in productions for BTE VO1SS: kykNet vir Mimi a celebration concert for Mimi Coertse’s 80th Birthday, Kyk hier staan ‘n nuwe Mens!, In 2013 Annemarie was honoured with a permanent position at BTE VO1SS and she is a member of Forté. she is now studying voice with Marcus Desando Dorabella is Ms Steenkamp’s Debut role debut for Gauteng Opera
Teresa de Wit (mezzo-soprano), won the SAMRO / Deon van der Walt Scholarship and 2001 until 2003 she was part of the Cape Town Opera Studio Her stage roles among other is operas like: The Barber of Seville; The Bartered Bride; Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte; Alcina, Madama Butterfly,La Traviata; ,Hansel und Gretel, La Cenerentola, . for The Black Tie Ensemble she performed in Gianni Schicchi, Il barbiere di Siviglia,and Teresa went on to perform in Martha, Le nozze di Figaro (Concertversion), Snaar en Stem, RSG – U Eie Keuse, Spring Gala Concert, Barcarolle (Duet Concert with Megan Kahts), Die Fledermaus and various other concerts, including Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, 2012.
In 2013 she sang in Salon Music’s Verdi Gala and productions of Wiener Blut in April and Rigoletto in July. In August 2011 she attended Masterclasses with Barbara Bonney at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria and during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown 2012 she performed the vocal part in Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Since moving to Kimberley she has performed with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Conrad von Alphen in Kimberley Stars, obtained the BMus and BMus Hons degrees with distinction through the University of the Free State and is currently busy with a Master’s degree with Petrus van Heerden as her singing teacher, while continuing her career as a freelance opera singer.
Phenye Modiane (tenor) was born and bred in Ga-Rankuwa. He grew up as an active child who was passionate about soccer and athletics.He only sang in community choirs as an extramural activity. Phenye’s musical talent was only discovered by his high school teacher, Mrs JC Motshwane, when he started singing solos for the school choir. Phenye obtained a BTech in Vocal Art from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in 2006, under vocal training of Pierre du Toit. With Opera Africa, Phenye sang the role of Remendado in Carmen and the role of Guard in Ziyankomo.
In 2005, he became part of a male quartet called Gaabo-Motho Tenors performed in Germany with Joseph Clark for his show called African Crossing, in Uganda for South African Freedom Day, in Zimbabwe and also in Germany to sing National Anthem for the opening of a stadium in Leverkussen, with a game of South Africa vs Germany. Gaabo-Motho Tenors was also part of Soccerex in 2009 and Phenye has been singing for corporates in Southern Africa since. He also sang at the Nelson Mandela Lecture In 2011 at the Linder Auditorium. Phenye is employed as a soloist at Gauteng Opera and sings as a principal in Operas, performs at corporate events as well as in concerts. He is currently being mentored by Marcus Desando
Douwe Bjikersma (baritone) has been tudying music since the age of seven. He has taken up singing lessons from Hans van Heerden in 1996 and with Elma Hofmeyr (1997 – 2000). In this time he sang as lead singer for the Randburg male voice choir and reached the Semi-finals in the countrywide ATKV Prelude music competition for young musicians in 1999 and 2001. Douwe studied Computer Science at the Rand Academic University in 2002, and started singing lessons with Emma Renzi. In that time he joined the RAU Song and Dance company where he played the roles of ‘Archy’ in Archy and Mehitabel, ‘Moonface Martin’ in Cole Porter’s musical Anything goes, ‘Manny’ in Ian von Memerty’s musical Jump for Joy and ‘Herr Schultz’ in Kander’s musical Cabaret.
Douwe made his Opera debut as Doctor Malatesta in Salon Music’s production of Don Pasquale that was directed by Jannie Moolman in 2008. Since then he has been singing for various concerts and operas with Salon Music and joined the Black Tie Ensemble in 2010 for their Soccer World Cup concerts at the Sammy Marks Museum. He is passionate about German Lieder and has performed concerts of Die schöne Mullerin and Dichterliebe. Some of Douwe’s most recent performances include the roles of Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Valentin (Faust), Dr Falke (Die Fledermaus) and Prince Ypsheim- Gindelbach (Wiener Blut).