The first performance in Europe of Cape Town Opera's production of the Mandela Trilogy, based on the life of the statesman Nelson Mandela, will be webcast live worldwide on S4C's website and broadcast in a special programme on S4C.
The European première of the opera will be staged at the Wales Millennium Centre on Wednesday and Thursday evenings 20 and 21 June. S4C will webcast the first production live worldwide on its website from 7.30pm onwards on Wednesday 20 June - the first time the Channel has webcast a musical performance throughout the world live on its website.
The performance will also be shown in a special programme Trioleg Mandela on S4C on Sunday evening 24 June.
Mandela Trilogy tells the extraordinary life story of Nelson Mandela from prisoner to president. The production is set in three contrasting sections highlighting Mandela's traditional upbringing in the Eastern Cape, the turbulent but heady atmosphere of the townships at the onset of Apartheid and, finally, Mandela's long years of imprisonment.
The opera uses a variety of musical styles and an outstanding cast of over 40 performers throwing new light on one of today's most iconic world figures.
Paul Islwyn Thomas of Bulb Films, producers of the coverage on S4C and the S4C website, said, "The Wales Millennium Centre has been vital in securing the European première of this important opera for Cardiff and Wales. Cape Town Opera has had a long association with the Centre through its founding patron, South African businessman Sir Donald Gordon. The company first performed in Wales at the Centre's opening concert and the collaboration has been maintained ever since."
Dafydd Rhys, S4C Director of Content, said, "The worldwide live webcast of the performance is an innovative step for us in S4C and a development which acknowledges that our audience is changing from being television viewers to viewers who enjoy our programmes on different platforms. We're particularly pleased to have secured the rights to webcast the European premiere of the opera live throughout the world."
The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera will provide the accompaniment in the production. The music is by Allan Stephenson, Mike Campbell and Péter Louis van Dijk. The opera is written and directed by Michael Williams.