South Africa: Can You Hear the Silence? Keeping the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Alive


In early December, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera launched a powerful campaign to highlight the struggles they have faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, calling to us, the people, for support, as they released an album, 'Cwaka. The Silence'.

The arts are too often one of the most undermined sites of expression and humanity. In fact, during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us found some peace, hope, a balm to one's loneliness in the arts. We read books, listened to music, and watched television; how to forget, too, those who took their instruments, opened their windows, went outside and shared music from their balconies to soothe their neighbour's angst, solitude and fears.

The arts are a necessity to the world as they enable us to connect and identify, and unite us as a collective.

And yet, across the world, the arts are suffering. In a statement shared in early December 2021, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Opera noted: "Covid, conflict, censorship, and even climate change are turning the volume down on one of humanity's driving forces: creative expression."

Both organisations were forced to either stop performing to live audiences, or to perform...

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