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South Africa to host ‘Operalia’ competition final



The city of Cape Town in South Africa will on Sunday come alive when it plays host to the final of the prestigious global opera competition, Operalia.

The event will even be more spectacular as two South African opera performers, Siphokazi Molteno and Nombulelo Yende are among the 16 singers who will try to impress the judges to emerge winner.

The 16 finalists were trimmed from an initial entry of 800 people from more than 15 countries including Armenia, South Korea, France, and South America.

In the finale, every contestant will perform with the Operalia founder, Plácido Domingo— a world renowned maestro— and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, assisted by guest conductor Kamal Khan.

On the choice of South Africa to host the 2023 finals of the event, Operalla Vice President, Alvaro Domingo said the country had an “international reputation for the quality of its opera singers.”

The CEO of Cape Town Opera, Alex Gabriel, said hosting the event would further illustrate the remarkable talent of South African opera singers who were taking the world by storm.


Switzerland returns stolen 2,000-year-old marble head to Libya



In what has been described as a significant move, Switzerland federal authorities have returned the marble head of a young woman from the Hellenistic period believed to be around 2,000 years old to Libya, 10 years after it was discovered in a warehouse in Geneva.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture said in a statement on Wednesday that it had handed over the marble sculpture to the Libyan Embassy in Bern as part of restitutional framework of the law on the international transfer of cultural property.

The sculpture, which is 19 centimetres high, according to the North African Federal Office of Culture, dates from between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.

Historians say the object probably came from the archaeological site of the ancient city of Cyrene in present day Libya.

“It is an archaeological vestige of great value and an exceptional testimony to Hellenistic expansion in North Africa,” the office of culture said in a statement.

Local media reports that the cultural artefact was found during a customs inspection in a customs warehouse in Geneva in 2013, and was confiscated during criminal proceedings in 2016 on suspicion that it had come from a looted excavation.

“The marble head is entirely covered with a reddish patina which provides information on its origin, according to which the Cyrenaica region is one of the rare regions in the Mediterranean basin where we find terra rossa and marble of such quality,” a media report said.

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Veteran Caribbean musician Wyclef Jean partners with Nigerian state to create entertainment hub



Veteran Caribbean musician and philanthropist, Wyclef Jean, has partnered Plateau State in North Central Nigerian to create a first ever entertainment and commerce hub meant to harness the creative potentials in the state.

The deal, which was sealed in the United States during a visit by the State Governor, will see Jean and the Caribbean International Commerce (CICH) acquiring more than 4,000 hectares of land for the audacious project.

Confirming the development in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Press to the Governor, Gyang Bere, said bold engagements by Caleb Mutfwang in the US had started yielding results with the groundbreaking partnership announced with Wyclef.

“The venture is expected to revolutionize both the local and global landscapes, featuring state-of-the-art music and movie studios, a tokenized platform for equitable wealth distribution, and a commitment to eco-friendly practices,” Bere said.

“Cutting-edge energy glass solar technology and sustainable building practices underline the project’s dedication to environmental stewardship are all part of the planned hub.

“A significant aspect of the project is the establishment of state-of-the-art music and movie studios, which will serve as a creative incubator for emerging talents.

“The project also embraces green technology, energy glass solar, cutting-edge manufacturing facilities, and sustainable housing developments in its comprehensive approach,” he added.

Also, a joint statement issued by Jean and CICH described the collaboration as a “major shift in commerce and entertainment, marking the initiation of an extraordinary project that blends innovation, sustainability, and star power.”

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