05/03/2018 17:11 SAST | Updated 05/03/2018 20:26 SAST

Last Aria For Gauteng Opera

The historic opera company has lost its final funding battle.

Gauteng Opera

After years of fundraising issues, the historic Gauteng Opera announced on Monday that it will officially be closing the curtain on the 18-year-old opera organisation's operations.

The Gauteng Opera has developed and trained more than 150 singers, technical experts and arts administrators during its lifetime, but could not overcome its latest funding crisis, it said in a statement.

"Due to the prevailing socioeconomic environment, it has proven very difficult for Gauteng Opera to raise enough funds to cover all its operational needs. So it is with a heavy heart that the board of Gauteng Opera has resolved to shut down the company and cease all operations by March 31, 2018.

"This has been an agonising decision, and the board and management of Gauteng Opera considered all available options, but short of a miracle we will not be able to... carry on and risk putting the company and all its stakeholders knowingly in peril."

The group is organising a last performance in the hope that it will raise enough funds to pay performers their final salaries.

"We encourage all patrons, supporters and stakeholders to attend our last performance of Sacred Songs at the Tin Town Theatre on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 3pm. All proceeds and donations will go to ensuring a last salary for the artists and staff of Gauteng Opera."

South African Opera superstar Njabulo Madlala said the closure is a sad indication of the state of the industry, and priorities of the South African department of arts and culture.

"I heard so much incredible talent. They all have these voices, but no work and nowhere to work. There is little hope. We need intervention in South Africa," Njabulo said on Facebook.