Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Doc 'Ndiphilela Ukucula' Spotlights 3 Black University of Cape Town Opera School Rising Stars

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 9, 2013 at 10:30AM

Coming to public media channel THIRTEEN is the feature documentary Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live To Sing, which spotlights rising stars of The University of Cape Town Opera School. It premieres on Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, July 18 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. It'll also air on Sunday, July 21 at 11 p.m. on WLIW21; and Thursday, July 25 at 9 p.m. on NJTV.Directed by Julie Cohen and introduced by Grammy award-winning bass-baritone Eric Owens, the film follows three top opera school students through a year in the program, a once all-white opera school, nearly two decades after the end of apartheid in South Africa, as the nation struggles to fulfill the promise of a transformed society.
0
"The Rake's Progress"
"The Rake's Progress"

Coming to public media channel THIRTEEN is the feature documentary Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live To Sing, which spotlights rising stars of The University of Cape Town Opera School


It premieres on Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday, July 18 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. It'll also air on Sunday, July 21 at 11 p.m. on WLIW21; and Thursday, July 25 at 9 p.m. on NJTV.

Directed by Julie Cohen and introduced by Grammy award-winning bass-baritone Eric Owens, the film follows three top opera school students through a year in the program, a once all-white opera school, nearly two decades after the end of apartheid in South Africa, as the nation struggles to fulfill the promise of a transformed society.

After the end of apartheid, the school opened its doors to black students, many of whom had learned opera in competitive community choirs in the townships, others there inspired by television advertisements. The wave of gifted singers who came to audition awed faculty members. The school, now comprised of two-thirds blacks and mixed race students, is achieving greater success than ever propelling students to world opera stages including The Metropolitan Opera in New York and La Scala in Milan.

Three rising stars of the opera school - Linda, a beautiful, shy soprano with a powerful voice; Makudupanyane, a Pavarotti-loving tenor; and Thesele, a bass baritone whose discipline and ambition matches his extraordinary talent - are seen as they prepare to perform in Cape Town's main opera hall, once a flash point in the anti-apartheid struggle.

The filmmakers travel with the students from their home townships, where they have faced financial hardship and in some cases health struggles, to Cape Town where they study. 

During a year in the program, the students prepare for their performance of The Tales of Hoffmann; travel to New York where they spend a a summer as apprentices at the prestigious Glimmerglass Festival, working with some of the best American opera performers and directors in the business; and visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for decades, on a school trip that has a profound effect on the students.

The documentary includes interviews with Thesele's parents, who worry about their son's chosen profession; some of the white students at the opera school who offer their reactions to being part of the opera scene in the 'new South Africa'; and the teachers and mentors guiding the students during their opera studies, including the current director of the opera school American Kamal Khan, who previously served as James Levine's assistant conductor at The Metropolitan Opera.

Also featured is South African soprano Pretty Yende, a recent graduate of the University of Cape Town Opera School, who made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera in January 2013. The program is introduced by American bass-baritone Eric Owens, winner of two Grammy Awards, who starred in The Metropolitan Opera's critically acclaimed production of Das Rheingold.

Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live to Sing is a co-production of BetterThanFiction Productions and United Nations Television

Julie Cohen is director and producer; Alex Lowther and Martha Yuan Tao are editors; Mary Lockhart is executive producer; Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge.

Funding for Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live to Sing is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, and Friends of Thirteen, Dorothy Pacella Fund. Corporate support is provided by South African Airways.

This article is related to: TV News


Shadow & ActNewsletter