Bongani Ndodana-Breen

Selected Work List


Themba & Seliba, children’s opera
(Libretto by Gwyneth Lloyd. Premiere by Co-Opera at Monument Theatre in Grahamstown 1996 & National Arts Festival Grahamstown 1997)

 Uhambo, opera-oratorio (1998)
(Based on Guy Butler’s “Pilgrimage to Dias Cross. Premiere by Cape Town Opera conducted by the composer at Monument Theatre, National Arts Festival Grahamstown 1998)

Lives of African Women: Umuntu, Threnody & Dances (2000)
(Soprano, 4 celli, percussion. Libretto by the composer. Premiere by Linda Bukhosini, soprano, Durban 2000. Music Director: Juan Burgess)

Hani, short opera (2010)
(Libretto by Mfundi Vundla. Premiere at Baxter Theatre in Cape Town 2010, Director Marcus Desando, Cape Town Opera, University of Cape Town Opera School, Cape Philharmonic/Khamal Khan)

Winnie, the Opera (2011)
(Libretto by Mfundi Vundla & Warren Wilensky. Premiere at the Pretoria State Theatre, 2011. Director Shirley-Jo Finney. Kwa Zulu Natal Philharmonic/Jonas Alber).


Three Orchestral Songs on poems by Ingrid Jonker (2015)
(Soprano and orchestra. Commissioned by Cape Town Philharmonic, 2015)

Credo (2013 rev. 2014)
(Oratorio based on the Freedom Charter and libretto by Brent Meersman for orchestra, SATB chorus, solo mezzo, contralto and bass) 2013)

Mzilikazi: Emhlabeni
(Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra commissioned by the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, 2012)

African Kaddish (1998)
( For orchestra. Commissioned by SAMRO premiered by SANYO/Bernhard Gueller)

Vela Zulu (1999)
(large choir, chorus, soloists)
Commissioned by the Play House Company

Zulu Gazing At the Rising Sun (Chinese orchestra) 2008
(2008, Premiere Hong Kong Arts Festival, HK Chinese Orchestra/Yan)

Symphony No 1 (under revision) (1996)
(Premiere Cape Phil, National Arts Festival, 1998)

Umuntu wa Bantu Symphony No 2 (under revision) (1997)
(Commissioned by Madam Walker Theatre. Premiere Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra/Stanley de Rusha, 1997)

Episodes (Ballet) (1996)
(Choreographed by Lindy Raisenberg. Commissioned by Artscape & Cape Town City Ballet)


Laudate Dominum (SATB & Organ or accordion) (2006)

There is no rose (SSAATTBB) (1995)

Sharpville Gloria

Lamentations (SSAATTBB)

Natural Born Fantasia (SATB)

Set me as a seal (SATB & Organ)

How Do I Love Thee (SATB & Organ)


Orphan Boy

(Dance music: 2 celli, clarinet, viola)

Hintsa’s Dances (flute, viola, harp, 2 marimbas/perc)

Lalelani (flute, viola, harp, 2 marimbas)

Mthi’mkhulu Sons of the Great Tree (flute, clar, 2 vlns, vla, 2 celli, mar/perc)

Rainmaking in Memoriam Queen Modjadi (flute, viola, harp, marimba, perc)

Orange Clouds
(Libretto by John Greyson. Sop, ten, bar; oboe, clar, viola, 2 celli, visual projection)

Mayibuye (fl, ob, clr, bsn, hrn, 2vlns, vla, vc, db) (7’)

Chamber Music

Intlanzi Yase Mzantsi, Piano 5tet (7’)

Safika: Three Tales on African Migration, Piano 5tet

Apologia At Umzimvubu, String 4tet OR trio of fl, vln, cello

Rituals for Forgotten Faces 4a & 4b, String 4tet

Miniatures on Motherhood (String 4tet, Soprano solo)

Impepho (String 4tet)

Two Nguni Dances (Inyanga, Intsomi) (Piano trio) (8’’)

Ceremonies & Tongues, (Piano trio)

Inkabi Yakuthi, Piano trio (pno, vc, fl)

Harvestmoon Eclogue, Violin & Piano

Casting of Bones, Violin & Piano

Jozi Dreamtime, Cello & Piano

Ngobusuku, intermediate Cello & Piano

C’est Tres Noir, an African piano duet

Emakhaya (parts 1 & 2) (flt & pno) (transcriptions for Ob/Rec)

Imbongikazi yakwaCizama (Clr, vln & pno) 5’


But There Went Up a Mist Watering the Face of the Ground, organ solo (7’)

Visions 1 & 2, solo fl (African Music Publishers, 2008 ASIN: B0018G9GX2)

Flowers in Sand, pno (OUP 978-0-19-387002-4)

Rituals For Forgotten Faces, pno 1, 2 & 3

Lives in Letter Beads, pno

Imbila, for solo marimba and narrator (18’)

CredoScapes I-V  (solo pieces for flute, horn, tuba, viola, cello) commissioned by UNISA


The Year of the Famine (Bar, pno)

Three Haiku of Raizan (Sop, pno)

(List of works revised March 2017)