Impempe Yomlingo: Mozart’s “Magic Flute”

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In Finland, they are known as “Taikahuilu,” in Hungry as “A Varazsfuvola,” in Xhosa, one of South Africa’s official languages, it is “Impempe Yomlingo.” This fresh and updated version of The Magic Flute, with a South African accent, has everything in common with the townships of South Africa, while staying entirely true to Mozart.

The troop of over thirty musicians, dancers, singers, accompanied by an orchestra of African marimbas and drums offers a show that allows its audience to relive Mozart’s miraculous symphony to the sound of diverse South African languages and instruments.

The company, Isango Portobello was founded in 2006 by Eric Abraham, a South African journalist, who after constant disputes with the apartheid regime settled in London. Impempe Yomlingo was first born at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in 2007. It later experienced a huge success in London, where it was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award in 2008.

Impempe Yomlingo, who acts as an ambassador for South Africa’s talents, is currently preforming in Paris, France, before taking off for Holland and then Japan. The company is also hoping to perform in South African venues around the country to coincide with the 2010 World Cup. “It will remind visitors and South Africans alike, through the medium of entertainment, of the extraordinary story of the fight against apartheid and the miraculous near peaceful transition to democracy,” said Eric Abraham in a press conference.

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