Souvenir programme for La Traviata Opera, performed by the EOAN Group on 14 March 1967 at City Hall, Cape Town. Sylvia has written her name 'Sylvia Booysen' at the top. She joined the EOAN Group in 1966 and performed in a variety of operas including La Traviata in the chorus. She met her future husband, Lindsay Motherwell, through the Eoan Group's production of 'South Pacific'. The EOAN Group's performance of La Traviata, with The Cape Town Municipal Orchestra was conducted by Dr. Joseph Manca. The cover states that it is presented by the Department of Coloured Affairs, under the crest of South Africa.

Sylvia Boyes (a South African-born orphan) and Lindsay Motherwell (a Melbourne-born drummer) met in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 through their theatre connections. They fell in love but due to apartheid laws were forced to leave South Africa to marry in London. They subsequently relocated permanently to Melbourne in 1970.

Physical Description

Cover states that it is presented by the Department of Coloured Affairs, under the crest of South Africa. This cover appears on both sides, one in English and one flipped, in Afrikaans. Inside the cover is a list of the cast and a description of the three acts, on one page in English and on the other side (flipped horizontally) in Afrikaans. Thus the program can be opened from either side in either English or Afrikaans.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a significant opportunity to represent political and personal freedom as a motivation for migrating to Australia within the international context of both apartheid in South Africa and the end of the White Australia policy in Australia. The personal narrative is well documented and the objects provide a material way to follow the lives of both Lindsay and Sylvia, both separately and where they coincide in South Africa and onwards together to Melbourne. While this is ultimately a love story, it plays out through the collection against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, sixties London and an increasingly multicultural Australia.

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