In October 2010 it was revealed that the Cape Town Opera (CTO) was due to perform “Porgy and Bess” at the Tel Aviv Opera House.

A group of Israeli citizens wrote to the CTO requesting it not to tour their country. This came on the grounds of Israel's discriminatory laws, war crimes and because Palestinians living there would be barred from attending the opera.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu publicly backed this call in a wide-spread open letter to Mr Michael Williams, the Managing Director of CTO.  In the same week as the Archbishop's letter the Israeli Defense Force prevented a group of Palestinian children  from attending the premiere of a movie that they themselves appeared in.

The campaign calling on the CTO to cancel its tour received much support within South Africa, including endorsement from the South African Civil Society Conference (comprising over 300 delegates from 56 mass-based civil society organisations.)

The campaign calling on CTO is recorded here, including letters of appeal as well as media coverage. The South African Artists Against Apartheid Declaration has been, in large part, inspired by this campaign.

Photos and Video

- YouTube Video: Flashmob - Cape Town Opera say NO, AGAIN [28_11_2010]
- YouTube Video: Flashmob - Cape Town Opera say NO [15_11_2010]
- ActiveStills Photographs: Art performance against Apartheid at Tel-Aviv Opera House [15_11_2010]

Letters of Appeal to the Cape Town Opera:

- Israeli Citizens Against Israeli Apartheid appeal to CTO at second performance [28_11_2010]
- Open Letter to Rabbi Warren Goldstein by Rifat Odeh Kassis [18_11_2010]
- Press Statement from PACBI [08_11_10]
- Statement from Zackie Achmat and Vivienne Cohen [05_11_10]
- Letter from Øystein Grønning to the CTO [29_10_2010]
- Declaration of the Civil Society Conference South Africa [28_10_2010]
- Letter from Kairos Palestine to the CTO [28_10_2010]
- Letter from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu [26_10_2010]
- Letter from Palestinian Students to the CTO [26_10_2010]
- Letter from PACBI in Occupied Ramallah to the CTO [25_10_2010]
- Letter from Israeli Citizens to the CTO [24_10_2010]

Latest Media Coverage:

- LOS ANGELES TIMES: Hot button issue - Performing in Israel [21_11_2010]
- MAIL & GUARDIAN: Palestinian Christians redefine narrative [17_11_2010]
- INDEPENDENT ONLINE: Protestors slam Cape Town Opera in Israel [16_11_2010]
- JERUSALEM POST: Activists call for énd of apartheid' outside of Tel-Avivi centre [15_11_2010]
- YNET NEWS: Leftists chant 'Stop Apartheid'outside Tel-Aviv opera [15_11_2010]
- THE SOWETAN: New row over Tel-Aviv Trip [12_11_2010]
- THE STAR: If this is not Apartheid, then what is? [10_11_2010]
- CAPE TIMES: Why the Cape Opera is wrong to tour Israel [9_11_2010]
- JERUSALEM POST: Lieberman vows to stop funding for Ariel boycott artists [7_11_2010]
- MAIL & GUARDIAN: Israel Opera Tour goes ahead with a difference [4_11_2010]
- THE JEWISH WEEK: Tempest over Tutu [2_11_2010]
- THE DAILY MAVERICK: Summertime and the Cape Opera ain't living it easy [1_11_2010]
- IAFRICA: 'Cut out Tutu's tongue' [1_11_2010]
- HAARETZ: IDF bars Palestinian children from Tel Aviv film festival [29_10_2010]
- MAIL & GUARDIAN: Yes, Cape Town Opera should boycott Israel! [29_10_2010]
- IOL: Israel responds to Tutu's call [28_10_2010]
- MAIL & GUARDIAN: Tutu's call for opera to boycott Israel gets strong reaction [27_10_2010]
- SOWETAN: Tutu urges group to call off Israel tour [27_10_2010]