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OCSAíS GALA OPENING (article first published : 2003-09-17)

A gala concert of operatic and choral music will be held in Durban on Friday (September19) at 18h00 at the University of Natalís Jubilee Centre in Princess Alice Avenue. The event will mark the inauguration of the Universityís new Opera School and Choral Academy (known as OSCA).

Ocsaís estalishment has been enabled by a substantial start-up grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies. This international funding agency was highly impressed by the depth of local singing talent and concerned that the deprived material circumstances of many students would hold back their development.

The Universityís Jubilee Centre has been completely redesigned by Durban architect Dennis Claude to accommodate this new educational initiative. The completed first phase includes teaching and rehearsing facilities as well as a 230-seater theatre which is the venue for this concert.

The concert will feature the soloists and choruses of OSCA, together with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. The conductor will be Naum Rousine and, for some items, Professor David Smith, head of opera and choral studies in the School. The chorus-master is Andrew Warburton, who is the schoolís vocal coach.

The line-up of some of KZNís finest young vocal talent will include Lwazi Ncube, Zanele Gumede, Ntokozo Xaba, Sibusiso Mkhize and Bongani Zondi, all of whom are students of voice teacher Colleen Philp. Most of these singers will travel to the USA next month to participate in a fund-raising concert at the New School University in New York.

The galaís programme of operatic music will include solos and ensembles by Purcell, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Leoncavallo, and choruses by Donizetti, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, and the popular Easter Hymn from Mascagniís opera Cavalleria Rusticana. The concert concludes with part of Mozartís Coronation Mass.

Parking is along Princess Alice Avenue (extension of South Ridge Road) and car guards will be on duty. Tickets R15 (R5 students and scholars). As seating is limited, the public is urged to book in advance, by contacting Maggie Reddy on 031 260-1672 or e-mail: Reddym7@nu.ac.za




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