Everyone would agree that when we think about opera music, we tend to picture massive concerts filled with lights, glitz, and glamour and less of the work that is involved behind the scenes to produce the final piece. Meet Mr Xolane Marman an opera director by profession and the founder of the Opera Recitals Unmuted project who is on a quest to shift our mindset to think beyond the glamour showcased in the concerts when it comes to the opera music genre.
Opera Recitals Unmuted is an annual project that offers the audience a peek into the lives of different opera artists from various backgrounds through online mini-documentaries. These mini-documentaries also provide a closer look at how opera singers prepare for their performances and the type of resources they use to deliver the concerts.
Following the successful debut of Opera Recitals Unmuted 1 in 2021 which resulted in some artists getting international recognition and employment overseas, Mr Xolane Marman decided to continue his project and make it bigger and better. This desire to expand the project necessitated more funding, which prompted him to apply for funding from the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC). Due to its great premiere, uniqueness, and positive effects on its beneficiaries and audiences, his initiative was successfully sponsored by the NAC.
Mr Xolane Marman was able to finish his Opera Recitals Unmuted 2 project thanks to NAC funding. As a result of this artistic endeavour, four opera singers, digital artists, and the administrative team were employed. The videographers who captured the mini-documentaries for the Opera Recitals Unmuted 2 project also taught filmmaking to young children from the underprivileged community of Khayelitsha. In addition, the four-opera singers featured in the project’s documentary also provided vocal coaching and training on creating a portfolio of work for the University of Cape Town opera students to use for the auditions in the future.
The Opera Recitals Unmuted 2 project has also collaborated with OperaVision, the largest European internet television provider, who will begin airing the documentaries on their platform in February 2023 which is a huge achievement that will further expose the talents of the artists. Recently, Mr Xolane has also received interest from Cape town TV offering him a segment in a local television program.
In his closing remarks, Mr Xolane Marman thanked his main sponsor the NAC for the funding which made his project dream materialise, and the other sponsors such as OperaVision, Cape Town TV, European Commission, Opera for Peace, and all the team that were involved in the project. His vision is to continue growing the Opera Recitals Unmuted to a greater height; for him, the sky is the limit.
To Support Opera Recitals Unmuted you may do so by purchasing tickets to watch the online documentaries at Quicket, the tickets are sold at R50 each. You may also reach out to Mr Xolane Marman using this number 071 701 8785 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org