The curtain that closed with heavy finality in March following the farewell performance by Gauteng Opera has been yanked back again for an encore as the feisty company refuses to be silenced. Last-minute donations and some requests for performances at retirement homes have kept the company afloat, but singing to the aged or the converted won’t pay the bills for long, so Gauteng Opera recently staged the showcase event Opera For Everybody to encourage event organisers and companies to book performances or sponsor them. The slogan didn’t sound convincing. "Opera for everyone except me," I thought, as I entered Tin Town Theatre in grimy Ferreirasdorp where Gauteng Opera is based. When they began to sing, however, I had goosebumps. Besides artistic director Phenye Modiane, the singers were all trainees or interns, yet they sounded world-class. One of them, Solly Motaung, will join a company in London in 2019. Gauteng Opera CEO Arnold Cloete says the company’s demise had always been stav...

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