Last year marked the centenary of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, while the Cape Town Opera turned 15. This year sees the start of a new initiative to ensure both institutions keep making music in the Mother City and beyond.
"The Duet Endowment Trust, established in 2014, aims to ensure that Cape Town Opera and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra are sustainable for generations to come," says founding trustee Wendy Ackerman, wife of Pick 'n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman and a long-standing philanthropist and supporter of the arts.
Louis Heyneman, CEO of the orchestra, expressed his belief that creativity gives meaning to our lives here on Earth, and that without the arts our future would be dull and unbearable. "A joint endowment trust for the orchestra and opera is indeed a novel idea and a sensible plan to secure a realistic future for both," he says.
Michael Williams, MD of the opera, also takes a forward-thinking view, saying that the formation of Duet launches a bold longer-term strategy to develop the private sector contribution to the arts over a number of decades. "Our lives may be fleeting, but music is eternal," he says. "Long may orchestral music and opera resound in this glorious city at the southernmost tip of Africa. Viva la musica!"