Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Angelina Jolie Wants to Take on 'Africa' Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Trailer: UP Original Movie 'My Other Mother' (Lynn Whitfield, Essence Atkins, Jasmine Guy) Debuts 9/21 Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place Wendy Williams is Crushing the Competition in the Ratings, as Queen Latifah's Show Struggles In Last Place 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Premieres on HBO Tonight (Trailer) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne Watch First Full Trailer For 'Black-ish' Starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laurence Fishburne Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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... Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

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