Message from Minister: Mandela Trilogy
18 April 2014
This message by Minister Dr Ivan Meyer has been included in the programme for the Germany performance of the Mandela Trilogy taking place on the 4 June 2014:
Celebrating 20 years of democracy in 2014 is an opportunity for rejoicing and for commemoration. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary life of former President Nelson Mandela.
During the leadership of the founding father of our democracy, Nelson Mandela, South Africa was blessed with a world-acclaimed Constitution. It is this Constitution which forms the backbone of our determination to create a non-racial, equal and inclusive society.
Freedom of expression is a key value of our Constitution which provides, among other things, for freedom of artistic creativity. Tonight’s performance, of the Mandela Trilogy by Cape Town Opera (CTO) reflects our heritage of artistic expression in the Western Cape.
The origins of Cape Town Opera can be traced back to the early 1920s with the establishment of University of Cape Town’s Opera School at the South African College of Music which had been founded in the early 1920s under the Italian tenor Giuseppe Paganelli. Cape Town Opera was founded in 1999 by the management and staff of the former South Africa Arts Council Opera and the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) and is one of the few professional opera houses in Africa. The chorus of CTO was awarded the prize for the best opera chorus at the first International Opera Awards in London in May 2013.
The Mandela Trilogy is Cape Town Opera’s musical tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela. It is also an expression of our gratitude to Nelson Mandela that South African artists can give full expression to their creativity.
Tonight we celebrate our hard-won freedom and the privileges the Constitution has bestowed on us. We also reflect on the many opportunities that our democracy has brought us. We rejoice in the fact that South Africa was blessed with the remarkable son of the person of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Dr IH Meyer
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Western Cape Government