From 31 March to 3 April 2022, CAPE TOWN OPERA in collaboration with The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, will host four unique performances entitled BON APPÉTIT! The stunning music and cuisine event will take place at The Restaurant and will delight gourmands and opera lovers alike.
Award-winning Chefs Mike Bassett and Evan Coosner have curated a sumptuous five-course dinner where dishes will pair with iconic opera songs with a food focus. Think Bernstein’s Four Recipes for Voice and Piano, Bach’s unique secular Coffee Cantata and a musical monologue by American composer Lee Hoiby. BON APPÉTIT! will be under the musical direction of José Dias.
“When we decided to present a selection of food-themed operatic works,” said Chef Mike, “I looked to the chosen pieces for menu inspiration. In Bernstein’s La Bonne Cuisine, you have recipes for Plum Pudding, Oxtail and a fast-cooked rabbit stew, among others. Then you’ve got Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Bizet’s Omelette Quartet, Weill’s Ice Cream Sextet and Hoiby’s Bon Appétit!” Astute followers of the libretto will see themes from each piece threading through the menu courses: oxtail croquettes with a plum puree, a coffee martini, rabbit roulade served with omelette rolls, pistachio ice cream with a milk pudding and finally, a chocolate cake pop. “It’s an evening for adventurous diners who love opera and we are so looking forward to it!” he concluded.
Together with her team, Cape Town Opera’s Artistic Director Magdalene Minnaar, who started her tenure with the company at the beginning of this year, has devised several unique event offerings this year that are bound to captivate both seasoned opera-goers and new audiences of all ages. Her fresh approach follows the company’s 2022 theme of diversity, sustainability and creativity. “In the post- Covid climate, we have to attend to the entire ecology of opera, and we’re continuously exploring creative ways to serve audiences and expand our reach,” she said. “The one gift that Covid gave us was the opportunity to think out the box. We are wanting to also present opera outside of the theatre space at interesting locations and site-specific venues, and the Vineyard Hotel is a marvellous fit.”
The cast of six, performing right in front of the ‘show kitchen’ that will be used as the stage area, includes soprano Janelle Visagie, who was awarded a prestigious Fleur du Cap Theatre Award in 2015 for her role as the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Artscape and a Fleur du Cap as Elle in La Voix Humaine in 2019. She joins Ané Pretorius (Soprano), Jodie Khan (Soprano), Siphesihle Mdena (Tenor), Van Wyk Venter (Baritone) and Garth Delport (Bass). Janelle will perform Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit!
All tables will face the performance area. Seating is limited due to Covid restrictions, and advance booking is advised, especially since all Vineyard Hotel dinner – theatre events are highly sought after.
BON APPÉTIT! runs from Thursday 31 March to Sunday 3 April 2022 at 19h00. Tickets cost R950 per person through Quicket. Guests wishing to stay over can take advantage of The Vineyard’s accommodation offer of 10% off the room rate when booking directly and using the promo code “Direct”.
For more info, call Masixole Makwetu at Cape Town Opera on 021.0019880.