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November 03, 2009

Summer in the city

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts

“Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…” The words of George and Ira Gershwin and Heyward DuBose’s classical jazz song Summertime, from the musical Porgy and Bess, is as appropriate for summer living in the Mother City as it is for the Deep South in America, which it was originally written for.

For most of us, our favourite memories of a Cape Town summer are entangled somehow in the music that our creative city is renowned for, be it soul, jazz, hip-hop, rap, classical music, rock, folk or a fusion of these genres. Cape Town is basking in the glow of summer and as the days get longer and the evening hours get duskier, there are countless musical events to explore.

The Cape Town Opera recently toured the UK with its production of Porgy and Bess to great acclaim. This famous Gershwin production was adapted from its original 1930s South Carolina setting to that of 1960s South Africa, but the themes of poverty, drugs, crime and unequal opportunities remain as relevant. The Cape Town Opera production, with a talented cast from townships like Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, received rave reviews in the UK. Cape Town Tourism was proud to partner with the Cape Town Opera on this initiative, bringing four UK journalists to Cape Town prior to the tour to experience our beautiful city and what life is like for the opera’s stars.

This week, we look at some musical events that you can enjoy with your loved ones in Cape Town:

  • Cape Town Opera offers a number of exciting new productions. Visit http://www.capetownopera.co.za for the programme of events taking place at the Artscape Theatre Centre.
  • A stellar line-up has been confirmed for the famous Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts, including Jesse Clegg, Freshlyground, Zebra & Giraffe, Goldfish, Just Jinjer, Prime Circle and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, to name but a few.
  • The Green Dolphin in the V&A Waterfront offers live jazz in the heart of our working harbour seven nights a week.
  • Dominic Peters from Goldfish, photo courtesy Catherine Murray

  • The V&A Waterfront is planning an Aquafestival against the backdrop of Table Mountain from December 15-January 6, 2010. The programme of sundowner events will showcase opera, ballet, rock, jazz and pop music, with a circus by day. The Parlotones, Johnny Clegg and Sibongile Khumalo will be some of the performers, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform in South Africa for the first time in 10 years. Ticket prices range from R120 to R500 per person and can be bought from Computicket. Visit www.aquafestival.com for more information.
  • The Rat Pack is back! After its recent sell-out season, this hit show returns to the NewSpace Theatre on 44 Long Street with a distinctly festive feel. The stellar cast includes New Yorker Patrick Tobin as Sinatra and a superb onstage band. The limited season runs from November 16-18, with tickets selling from R90 through Computicket.
  • The Cape Town Spoken Word Festival 2009, taking place at the Baxter Theatre from November 17-21, includes artists like Quanita Adams, J7, Ewok and more. Think, write, express… Ticket prices start at R85 and can be bought from Computicket.
  • The Cape Quarter in De Waterkant is celebrating its grand opening with the sounds of laid-back live classical music evenings from Monday to Thursday from 19h00 until 22h00. Acts such as the Palm Strings Duo, Divertimento and Keys and Strings will be featured.
  • The Winchester Mansions Hotel’s Jazz brunches are well known in the Mother City and many a cool Capetonian has clamoured for a seat on a lazy Sunday morning. The brunch includes a glass of fine wine on arrival, a complimentary Sunday newspaper and a brunch buffet ranging from breakfast to decadent deserts. Leading or up-and-coming local and international jazz artists add to the mood.

The brunches take place every Sunday from 11h00-14h00 at a cost of R195 per person. To book a table and for more queries, contact +27 (0)21 434 2351 or email harveys@winchester.co.za. Sit back, relax and enjoy the soulful sounds of the Mother City with us this summer.

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