JOHANNESBURG – A sexy dose of jazz and the refined strains of Western opera and traditional Xhosa song drive a new opera about South Africa’s former president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

The range of musical styles in “Mandela Trilogy” reflects South Africa’s mix of cultures, the production’s writer and director Michael Williams said in an interview before a dress rehearsal on Friday.

After preliminary runs in the eastern coastal city of Durban and the heartland town of Bloemfontein, the Cape Town Opera’s production comes to South Africa’s economic and entertainment hub.

The sweeping action of “Trilogy” moves from Mandela’s boyhood village in southeastern South Africa to the Johannesburg townships where he became a political leader and then to the prisons where he spent 27 years. Mandela is shown cheating on his wife, making political missteps and struggling with the burden of holding others’ lives in his hands.

“Mandela Trilogy” ends triumphantly, with Mandela’s 1990 release and stirring speech to a crowd in Cape Town. “Mandela Trilogy” runs Aug. 13-19; performances next year will be in Britain and Norway.

Baldwin becomes kingpin of SNL hosts

NEW YORK – Alec Baldwin earns bragging rights as the most familiar “Saturday Night Live” host when he opens the NBC show’s 37th season on Sept. 24.

It will be his 16th time as host. The “30 Rock” actor moves past Steve Martin, who has done it 15 times. Radiohead will be the musical guest, the network said Friday.

Melissa McCarthy of CBS’ “Mike & Molly” and the movie “Bridesmaids” will be the host of the show’s second week, her “SNL” debut. The country trio Lady Antebellum will be the musical guest.

Locklear engaged to former ‘Melrose’ co-star from 1990s

NEW YORK – Heather Locklear is engaged to fellow “Melrose Place” actor Jack Wagner.

Locklear spokeswoman Sarah Fuller confirmed the engagement on Friday but offered no other details.

The actress’ divorce from Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora was finalized in April 2007. She had been dating Wagner since at least 2008.

Locklear and Wagner worked together in the 1990s on “Melrose Place,” a spinoff of “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Locklear played Amanda Woodward. Wagner played Dr. Peter Burns.

Locklear also starred on the prime-time soap opera “Dynasty” and the William Shatner police drama “T.J. Hooker.”

Wagner isn’t just an actor. He sang the 1980s pop hit “All I Need.” And he’s an accomplished golfer who five years ago won the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, an event usually won by professional athletes.