The story of the lead up to Christ’s crucifixion has been given a theatrical boost by the Isango Ensemble.
By adapting Bach’s masterpiece to incorporate traditional South African songs and trading violins and flutes for marimbas and vocal percussion, this production will surely attract a new audience to what is a sacred piece of music.
The performances from the ensemble were engaging and when the lead soprano had her moments, I was sighing with admiration.
There was nothing overpowering about any of the operatic singing as a non-opera fan can feel, but the power of them together was exquisite.
The choreography felt free and relaxed and simple props like sheets and a ladder were used to great effect.
The simplicity of the climactic scene did nothing to detract from the pain, both physical and emotional.
I did get a bit lost with the story when they spoke in native tongues but by using common sense I was able to work out most of it.
Because of that, I wasn’t as captivated with the dialogue scenes as I expected. 4/5 stars