Big Wig Opera postpones Verdi’s La Traviata , its fourth and final opera for its November 2015 season  at the Roodepoort Theatre.

The board of directors made this announcement to postpone this opera after being forced to make a difficult decision following the financial loss incurred by its previous production, Madama Butterfly, as well as the withdrawal of its sponsor for its rehearsal  venue.

Joint artistic director, Elizabeth Lombard, said:  “We’ve had a massive year for a small company with no money; no-one else did what we managed to do.  There were many opera concerts in Gauteng but no other opera company produced as many opera s as Big Wig Opera did this year.”

As a registered non-profit company Big Wig Opera has been relying on ticket sales only to cover the cost of each production after numerous failed attempts earlier this year at securing funding from the National Arts Council (NAC), the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) as well as other organisations known for funding the arts.

“Without everyone’s contributions, from volunteers to financial assistance and other services, this year would not have been possible,” said Lombard.  “Unfortunately we did not receive sufficient financial support and although the involvement of all the volunteers is highly valued, financial contributions in the form of donations and sponsorships are key to any organisation in arts and culture.”

Lombard explained that La Traviata has in fact only been postponed to next year, pending sufficient funding for the production.  The directors at Big Wig Opera assessed the company’s financial situation and decided to focus on establishing an operational foundation for the non-profit organisation before scheduling any more productions.

“We are planning to produce more fundraising concerts in 2016,” expressed Lombard “whilst at the same time ensuring we appoint a non-executive chairperson and another one or two executive directors.  In the mean while we have been accepted into the Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Educational Programme for 2015/6 and hope to be learning all there is about running a non-profit arts and culture organisation.”

Patrons who have already booked tickets for La Traviata will be contacted by the Joburg City Theatres’ call centre to arrange a full refund for their purchase.  Big Wig Opera would like to express its sincere thanks to its patrons for their continued support and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Individuals and companies that would like to make a donation to Big Wig Opera can contact Gawie de Wet, financial director at Big Wig Opera, via e-mail at or by calling 082 771 2341.

Those individuals who would like to join Big Wig Opera’s group of volunteers, who offer services ranging from financial administration, marketing assistance, fundraising, set building, dress making and more, can contact Marisa Louw, operations director at Big Wig Opera, via email at or by calling 072 987 5780.

Big Wig Opera’s next confirmed production is an Opera Gala with internationally acclaimed tenor Johan Botha on 21 August 2016 at the Roodepoort Theatre.  This concert will be brought to you in collaboration with Charl van Heyningen Enterprises.

“We would like to express a special thanks to our current sponsors Lovemore Music in Rosebank, Ornico media monitoring, Financial Junction Investments and Advocate Fanie Cilliers for their continued support,” concluded Lombard.  “May you, and all our patrons of 2015, enjoy a safe and peaceful festive season and we hope to continue bringing you real opera in many years to come.”