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Umculo is a Xhosa word which means both art music and reconciliation. Song unites South Africa´s diverse and divided population, and choral music is at the core of almost every school, company, church, community centre, and even prison in the country. South Africa´s choirs have long since embraced the music of opera as their own, with hundreds of thousands of young people across the country hearing and singing opera every day.

Umculo is a vision that is larger than its component parts. It is a vision of hope for South Africa built on the extraordinary music talent and optimism of a young comunity at risk.

What we are working on in 2018

ROMEOs (working title)

A new work of music theatre by Umculo

Composer: Catherine Milliken; Libretto/ Direction: Robert Lehmeier

Cast to include: Rheinald Tshepo Moagi; Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi; Sibongile Mollo; Vuyisa Jack; Thabiso Masimene

Love is in the air. Love is everywhere. Sometimes Love hides. Sometimes you have to fight for it or risk your life standing up for it. Sometimes being truthful to yourself can be your biggest challenge in life.

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THE GIFT (working title)

The Gift is a story about love, about resilience, about hope and about generosity. It is also a story about rape and brutality.

“Corrective rape” is a disingenuous term coined to define the widespread practice of raping lesbians in South Africa. Though homosexual partnerships are recognised and protected by the South African Constitution, there is violent homophobia in many communities. It is commonly held that a lesbian can be made into a heterosexual woman by the act of rape; these crimes are often gang rapes, and frequently so brutal that the victims die. In Cape Town alone, more than ten lesbians per week are raped.

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