THE Opera House in Port Elizabeth has an exciting lineup for the next few weeks, with South Africa's first gospel opera headed this way later this month.
History will be made when The African Passion, a homegrown musical about the Passion of Christ, goes on national tour next week, stopping in Port Elizabeth for just five shows.
Two other events will round off the March schedule: Jazz – Celebrating the Music of Jazz Legends and the Mandela Bay Book Fair.
"The Port Elizabeth Opera House strives to ensure there is quality entertainment and strong artistic content presented on its stage," Opera House general manager Monde Ngonyama said.
"We want to create jobs for Eastern Cape artists so that they don't go looking for greener pastures in other provinces."
The African Passion – which has 18 professional performers and six musicians – will collaborate with community choirs in the various regions to make up the rest of the cast.
On Saturday, jazz lovers will get to enjoy a tribute to jazz legends with artists including Themba Jack, Pumlani Mtiti, Riaan van der Heerden and Tandeka Marwanqa performing music composed and performed by legends. The tribute is a project of the Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department. Ngonyama said the Opera House was unable to commission productions as it did not have the funds to do so.
"However, this we hope is not going to be permanent as we are in constant communication with various funders and the national Department of Arts and Culture," he said.
From March 14 to 16, book lovers can visit the book fair, an initiative of the Ikhwelo Writing Project and Imbizo Arts of SA to promote the value of books.
Tickets for The African Passion and Jazz – Celebrating the Music of Jazz Legends are available from Computicket at R125 and R60.
Entrance to the book fair is free.