Lara Bye, director of Viva la Mamma, has won the prestigious Rapport Skouerklop Award for her contribution to the arts at the Suidoosterfees. The award was presented at the close of the festival at Artscape last night.
Bye has been involved with the Suidoosterfees for four years, directing operas for the Richard Wagner Society of South Africa.
Bye had audiences glued to their seats in 2008 with the first one, Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona, which was set in a boxing ring.
Says Barnard Beukman, CEO of Rapport, “She followed this up with the comic Rossini opera, La Scala di Seta, which had festival goers cramming the stairs to get seats. Last year, she tackled Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. Never before has an opera of such scope been presented by an arts festival. It brought scores of opera lovers from abroad, and earned her accolades in Opernwelt, the leading German opera magazine foe her innovative, modern and accessible direction. The opera has earned three Fiesta nominations.
“The 2012 production, Viva la Mamma, was an African premiere of Donizetti’s opera.
“Once again she stretched the comical to the point where people almost laughed non-stop, creating an irresistible festival experience for both opera virgins and connoisseurs, “ he said.
Bye hold an honours degree in drama from the University of Cape Town, as well as a diploma from the Jacques le Coq Mime and Movement School in Paris. An actress and director who works in both English and Afrikaans drama, Bye’s most recent work, Night Mother/Nag Moeder was performed in English at the Grahamstown Festival and in Afrikaans at Aardklop.
In 2000, Bye was named one of the 40 most inspirational South African women by Fair Lady.
Other winners of the Rapport Trophy include David Kramer and Adam Small.