Entertainment Editor's Pick Santa's Story at the Fugard

Santa's Story at the Fugard

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Aviva Pelham is to perform in Santa’s Story at the Fugard - a one-woman show about the life of her Mother, Santa Pelham

When 90-year-old Santa Pelham was persuaded to write her fascinating life story it was intended so that her memoir would be there for future generations. But Santa's story became something more, a cathartic experience, an inspiration for song, and now a one-woman show performed by her daughter, opera diva Aviva Pelham.

Aviva brings the moving text to life detailing her mother’s journey from Germany, to Spain, to France and then to Africa. The story is punctuated by wonderful live Klezmer music performed by the arranger Matthew Reid on clarinet and sax, Nicky Jansen on keyboard, guitar, flute, accordion and sax and Petri Salonen on the violin. The beautiful instrumentation will depict music from different part of Europe and Klezmer and Aviva will sing in Spanish, French, Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

In a career spanning almost 40 years, Aviva has enchanted her audiences, brightened stages and spread the love of song in South Africa and abroad. She is a highly sought-after singer, director and lecturer. Born into an extremely musical family in Zimbabwe, her home was filled with music and every member of the family sang. In addition to opera, teaching and performing qualifications, she obtained a master's degree from University of Cape Town. Since making her debut in the role of Norina from Don Pasquale she has performed extensively on local and international stages, television and radio. She has worked with numerous illustrious conductors including Janos Furst, Piero Gamba, Hubert Sudant, Victor Yampolsky and Reinhard Schwarz.

Aviva has dominated the stage as Violetta in La Traviata, Rosina in Barber of Seville and is equally at home as Musetta in La Boheme, Susanna in Marriage of Figaro, Gilda in Rigoletto, Norina in Don Pasquale, Marcellina in Fidelio, Adina in L’Elisir D’Amore, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera. In addition, she has starred in the leading roles in operettas including Die Fledermaus, La Belle Helene, La Perichole, Night in Venice, Student Prince, Great Waltz, Merry Widow as well as countless musicals such as My Fair Lady, Sound of Music, The King & I, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha, Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods and Kismet, notching up over two thousand performances and delighting audiences all over the world.

Performances are nightly (except Mondays) at 8pm with various weekend matinee performances and tickets cost from R130 to R150 via Computicket or the Theatre’s box office on 021 461 4554.