The music begins as Jonathan joins the Minnesota Orchestra for their first rehearsal in Cape Town. Experience the start of the magic with the third installment from our touring physical therapist!

Cape Town, South Africa

Jonathan Reynolds
August 11, 2018

I attended the first orchestra rehearsal in the newly renovated City Hall in Cape Town. This was where Nelson Mandela first addressed great throngs of people gathered to witness the memorable occasion of his release in 1990 and everyone in South Africa remembers where they were that warm January day. There is a newly erected statue of Mandela on the balcony at City Hall, facing the crowd and, perhaps not ironically, facing in the direction of Robben Island, with his fist held above his head.

The rehearsal was open to the public and many showed up to watch and listen to the orchestra, “at work”, as Osmo Vanska put it…not performing, but working! The evening performance was a great success, with members of the audience hooting and hollering, often at times that the orchestra members weren’t accustomed to.

The members of the orchestra soaked in all that Cape Town had to offer: some rented and rode bikes, many climbed various parts of Table Mountain, some visited various wineries that date back as far as the mid-1600’s. And most said they wished they’d had more time and were sad to be leaving.  And that they’d be back!

The flight to Durban was subdued, its path taking us over the ominous, snow-capped Drakensberg (dragon mountain), eventually descending over the warm Indian Ocean and rolling fields of sugar-cane. Excitement built again with the tour leader’s description of Durban and the Zulu nation that makes up the largest population group in South Africa, as well as the remnants of the “last British outpost” which is Natal province. Work starts again tomorrow, with rehearsal and concert all in one day. Durbanites are poised to be enthralled.