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City in the Republic of South Africa. The Miranda-Harper Company was the first to perform opera there, at the Raadzaal in 1869. Several other companies followed from England, America, Australia and later, Johannesburg, presenting a predominantly English repertory. Until the first town hall was built in ...

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Thomas Kaufman

(b Naples, 1873; d Bogotà, Aug 28, 1935). Italian impresario and cellist . He joined the orchestra of an Italian opera company touring the Balkans in 1890, and also performed in Egypt, but decided to try his hand as an impresario in 1895, giving performances in Alexandria (Alhambra Theatre) during August and September and in Cairo (Ezbekieh Gardens) for the next two months. The company was joined in Cairo by the young and not yet famous Enrico Caruso, who sang in five operas. Bracale was again impresario in Cairo, but at the much more important Khedivial theatre from ...

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Cairo  

Charles Pitt and Tarek H.A. Hassan

Capital of Egypt, the largest city in Africa. Opera came to Egypt in 1841, when an Italian touring company presented a season in Alexandria. Subsequently opera was given in Cairo; in the 1860s Adelina Patti sang there. In 1869 the khedive decided to build a new opera house in the city to mark the opening of the Suez Canal; the theatre, designed by Italian architects (seating 850 in three tiers of boxes, stalls and top gallery), opened later the same year, not with ...

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Group of islands off the coast of north-west Africa. For a discussion of operatic activity see Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife .

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City in Morocco. The country was a French Protectorate from 1912 until 1956. In 1922 Casablanca, which had become an important port and holiday resort, decided on the construction of the Théâtre Municipal. Built in four months and seating 1200, it was inaugurated on 22 December 1922...

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Thomas Kaufman

( fl 1898–1918). Italian impresario . By 1899 he had spent four years in Egypt and the Balkans, and, starting in Odessa, had headed the first extended tour of the Russian provinces by an Italian company. Early that year, he reached Samarkand, later visiting Baku, Astrakhan and Saratov. He frequently visited Vilnius, Minsk and Riga during the early years of the century. He returned to the Balkans and Egypt in ...

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George J. Buelow

Drama per musica in three acts by Johann Mattheson to a libretto by Friedrich Christian Feustking; Hamburg, 20 October 1704.

The libretto is loosely based on Roman history and the account of Mark Antony by Plutarch. In addition to Cleopatra (soprano), Marcus Antonius [Mark Antony] (tenor) and their children Candace (soprano), the young Cleopatra (Egyptian princess) and Ptolemaeus [Ptolemy] (alto; Egyptian prince), the cast includes Archibius (baritone), governor of Alexandria; Dercetaeus (tenor), freed servant of Antony; Caesar Augustus (baritone); Mandane (soprano), an Armenian princess in love with Ptolemy; Juba (tenor), Mauritanian crown prince; Proculejus (alto), Roman general; and Nemesis (soprano), goddess of vengeance....

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James May

(b Durban, June 12, 1932). South African soprano . After initial studies in Johannesburg she was a pupil of Maria Hittorf and Joseph Witt in Vienna (from 1954). She made her début at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1956 as the Queen of Night, a role with which she achieved considerable fame and which she sang in most of the major opera houses in Europe. From ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, Jan 7, 1908; d South Africa, May 1988). South African bass of English birth . He studied in Dresden, making his début in 1931 at Leipzig as Monterone (Rigoletto), later singing King Henry (Lohengrin), Osmin, Sarastro, Philip II and many Wagner roles. He appeared at Munich, Dresden, Vienna and Berlin, where he spent the war years. At Bayreuth (...

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(b Vryheid, July 2, 1944). South African baritone. He studied and began his career in South Africa, making his stage début with the Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal Opera in Johannesburg as Yamadori (Butterfly) in 1967. Further studies followed in London with Otakar Kraus, and he sang Mathieu in a concert performance of ...

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Anthony Parr

(b Salisbury, Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], Aug 6, 1914; d Barnstaple, Devon, June 3, 1982). English poet and dramatist . He was described by Ezra Pound as ‘the lone wolf of English letters’. After 1945 he took part in the attempted renaissance of verse drama in England (he was initially influenced by T. S. Eliot), but the critical tide turned against these efforts in the late 1950s, and his plays are rarely if ever performed today. His ...

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Durban  

City in the Republic of South Africa. It contains the headquarters of the Natal Performing Arts Council (NAPAC), established in 1963, which is responsible for opera and ballet performances in Natal. Before 1985 opera was presented at the Alambra Theatre; since then it has been performed at the Opera (...

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William Y. Elias

(b Cairo, May 6, 1916). Egyptian composer . He received his education in French schools and graduated with a diploma in commercial studies. He studied music as well, but an injury ended his career as a performer and he turned to composition. In 1956...

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Opéra-ballet in a prologue and three entrées by Jean-Philippe Rameau to a libretto by (Jean-)Louis de Cahusac; Versailles, La Grande Ecurie, 15 March 1747.

Intended to appear as Les dieux d’Egypte, this work was adapted for the celebrations surrounding the dauphin’s second marriage, to Maria Josepha of Saxony. Its theme was fortuitously appropriate: each of the three entrées, ‘Osiris’, ‘Canope’ and ‘Aruéris, ou Les Isies’, culminates in the marriage of one of the Egyptian gods. In the first, Osiris (...

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James May

(b Palermo, March 5, 1915). South African baritone and producer of Italian birth. He studied in Genoa and with Stracciari in Rome and made his début as Germont in Genoa in 1937. A pilot in the Italian air force during the war, he was interned in Durban, where he settled. In ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Durban, Dec 19, 1943). South African soprano . She studied in Durban and Vienna, making her début as Butterfly at Berne in 1965, then singing in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Cologne. She made her London début as Luise in the British première of Henze’s ...

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Noël Goodwin

(b Vancouver, July 31, 1929; d Johannesburg, South Africa, September 11, 2011). Canadian bass . He studied at Santa Barbara with Lotte Lehmann and later at the Toronto Royal Conservatory. After a period as a principal with the Canadian Opera Company, he undertook further studies in New York and Milan. In ...

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James May

(b Milan, July 5, 1943). Italian bass-baritone and director resident in South Africa. He studied the piano and singing privately while reading science at the University of Cape Town. His singing teachers were Albina Bini, Adelheid Armhold and Frederick Dalberg in Cape Town and, in ...

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Thomas Kaufman

(fl c1900–35). Italian impresario. Towards the end of the 19th century, his company was primarily active in touring the Balkans, Asia Minor and Egypt, with Smyrna (now Izmir), Athens, Cairo and Alexandria his favourite stops. During an extended tour of these cities, Giuseppe Anselmi was his leading singer. By ...

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Paul Corneilson

Libretto subject much used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its principal sources are the historical accounts of the Roman leader Julius Caesar as recorded in Plutarch’s Lives. Opera librettos have tended to focus either on Caesar’s visit to Egypt, where he falls in love with Cleopatra (the subject of Bernard Shaw’s play ...