U-Carmen e Khayelitsha

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In 1999, Hazlewood and Mark Dornford-May were invited to create a new opera company in Cape Town. After auditioning in the townships and villages of South Africa, the mostly black lyric-theatre company DDK (Dimpho Di Kopane – Sotho for “combined talents”) was formed. Of the 40 members, only three had professional training and five members died of AIDS in the company’s first year. In January 2001, the company’s debut of Bizet’s Carmen opened to damning South African reviews, with one newspaper claiming it was preposterous for black South Africans to perform western opera but later came to London where it was deemed ‘The Carmen by which all other should be measured’ The Observer. 

Hazlewood was music director and conductor for the company’s film version of Carmen set in a township in South Africa U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha which won the ‘Golden Bear’ award for Best Film at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival. Their subsequent film Son of Man featured a score created by Hazlewood in collaboration with the company.

Hazlewood was Music Director of DDK from 2000 to 2007. With the company he also conceived the music for the shows, The Mysteries, Ibali Loo Tsotsi (The Beggar’s Opera); and The Snow Queen, which premiered in New York in 2004.