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Opera in Cape Town: critics trace how a colonial art form was reinvented as African

By Wayne Muller, Publications Editor / Research Fellow (Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation), Stellenbosch University
Many people thought that classical opera in South Africa – regarded as a western, colonial art form that was the preserve of white people during apartheid – would die with democracy in 1994. Instead the opposite happened. Black singers emerged as the new stars and the format of opera began to be Africanised for new audiences. Critics mapped this transformation as Cape Town established itself as a hotbed of the new opera. One such critic was Wayne Muller, who became an academic and wrote a

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