'The Sleeping Beauty' to take theatregoers on an enchanting journey of love

Joburg Ballet dancers Tamlyn Higgins and Revil Yon in 'The Sleeping Beauty.' Picture: Instagram.

Joburg Ballet dancers Tamlyn Higgins and Revil Yon in 'The Sleeping Beauty.' Picture: Instagram.

Published Jun 25, 2024


Johannesburg theatregoers are in for a treat as “The Sleeping Beauty” will come to life in extraordinary fashion on stage from this week.

Presented by The Joburg Ballet, this timeless fairytale will be accompanied by renowned Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping romantic score, which will be played live by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Chad Hendricks, at all but two of the season’s nine performances.

Produced by Italy-based ballet teacher and producer Sophie Sarrote, this glittering production will feature the Joburg Ballet’s acclaimed dancers who will be joined by visiting guest artists as the organisation is supported by The Michel Tesson Trust and the Institut Francais this season.

Sarrote, who is a former dancer from the famed La Scala Ballet in Milan, is set to bring her extensive experience, expertise and artistry to the production.

“The Sleeping Beauty which has been described as one of the most iconic of the great ballet classics, tells the tale of a princess, who through an evil spell, pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep.

She is finally awoken one hundred years later by a charming and handsome prince’s kiss in a story which showcases the triumph of love.

For this production, five of the Joburg Ballet’s leading dancers and three guest artists will alternate in the leading roles.

The organisation’s Monike Cristina, who was born in Brazil, and the Paris Opera Ballet star Guillaume Diop, in his South African debut, will headline the opening night as well as the first Sunday night performance.

Nicole Ferreira-Dill, who is also a Joburg Ballet principal dancer and guest artist, Cuban-born Nelson Peña Nuñez, who is a principal dancer with the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Kazakhstan, will feature in the lead roles on Saturday, June 29, and on Friday, July 5.

Other dancers to feature in “The Sleeping Beauty” lead roles this season include Tammy Higgins, Revil Yon, Shannon Glover, Ruan Galdino, Ryoko Yagyu and Ivan Domiciano.

Where: The Mandela Theatre at The Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.

When: From Friday, June 28 to July 7. Show times differ, depending on the day.

Cost: Tickets range from R240 to R580. There are half price specials for the opening night, morning matinees for R110 and discounts for pensioners, groups and the Friends of the Ballet.

Tickets are available through Webtickets, the Joburg Theatre Box Office, through the Nedbank app or at selected Pick n Pay stores.

Cape Town Opera’s Brittany Smith and Lukhanyo Moyake star in ‘Lucia di Lammermoor.’ Picture: Gary van Wyk.

Lucia di Lammermoor

As part of the Cape Town Opera’s (CTO) 25th anniversary celebrations, Gaetano Donizetti's “Lucia di Lammermoor” will be presented at the Joburg Theatre this week.

This opera, which was the company’s first ever production, is set to enthral both seasoned opera enthusiasts as well as newcomers.

It is directed by the CTO’s co-founder and Honorary Patron Professor Angelo Gobbato, while Daniel Keet conducts the Joburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

With its timeless tale of love, betrayal and madness, the opera remains as relevant today as it was when it first premiered in 1835.

The producers said: “From the soaring melodies of the famous Mad Scene to the intricate ensemble numbers, ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ is filled with raw emotion and musical brilliance, a true testament to Donizetti’s genius and to the enduring power of this thrilling art form.”

The producers added that at the heart of the production was the tragic heroine Lucia, played by Brittany Smith, who recently won a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for her portrayal of Maria in “The Sound of Music.”

The rest of the cast features a stellar line-up of CTO’s acclaimed performers, including soloists Lukhanyo Moyake as Edgardo and Conroy Scott as Enrico.

It is also fitting that the CTO has come full circle by having Gobbato return to direct this production, having first directed “Lucia di Lammermoor” back in 1997, two years before the company was officially established as a non-profit entity in 1999.

Meanwhile, set designer Michael Mitchell has given this production a more present feel, as opposed to the typical Scottish Highlands setting.

“The overall look and feel of the set and costumes is modern and contemporary, with Mitchell drawing inspiration from couturier Alexander McQueen for Lucia’s wedding dress,” producers said.

“Lucia di Lammermoor” is only for those over the age of 16.

Where: The Mandela Theatre at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein.

When: Runs until Friday, July 28, at 7pm.

Cost: Tickets range from R215 to R750 and are available through Webtickets.