Isango EnsembleIsango Ensemble is an internationally renowned South African theatre company that draws its artists from the townships around South Africa. Their stage productions and films have played to sold-out audiences across the world, as well as received numerous international awards. Isango's productions re-imagine classics from the Western classical canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African or township setting. 

Opera meets Township...

Their next production of Puccini's La Bohème is opening in Cape Town at the end of the month. This re-imagination of Puccini's classic is set in the townships of present-day South Africa. Featuring a magnificent score played by an orchestra of marimbas (which won huge acclaim when used in their previous production of The Magic Flute) and steel pans together with the world-class voices and extraordinary acting talent of the Ensemble. Pauline Malafane (Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute) will sing Mimi. 

The production will run for a short season until 10 March 2012 in the specially refurbished Deutsches Haus venue in downtown Cape Town. The show then transfers to the United Kingdom with the European premiere in London at the Hackney Empire on 19 May 2012.

On their previous visits to London, the Isango Ensemble have astounded audiences and critics alike with the quality and emotional power of their musical theatre work. They have played to sold out houses across the world and won numerous awards including the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival for The Magic Flute.

...A superb performance. Thank you too for proving apartheid so abominably wrong. You have helped restore our faith in ourselves. Fantastic 
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, October 2011 

Below is a series of clips from their previous production of Mozart's Magic Flute (Young Vic 2008).