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BACH TO BARBRA (article first published : 2004-07-21)

Bach to Barbra at Rhumbelow Theatre promises to be an enjoyable evening of music and song showcasing the talents of three of Durban’s finest musicians performing in the “cross-over” style so big overseas! Opera diva Stacey Almond sings Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim, Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sarah Pudifin, the exciting 19 year-old up-and-coming violinist will join the show at the Rhumbelow.

Another new face on the theatre scene, pianist David Daniel will provide accompaniment.

The programme will include Barbra Streisand songs Everybody Says Don’t, Putting it Together, Second Hand Rose, The Minute Waltz and People.

British born soprano Stacey Almond won her first singing award at the age of 7 and went on to be the youngest singer (at 14) to win the Junior Kathleen Ferrier Award. A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, she has been a member of Scottish Opera, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and Glyndebourne Touring Opera. She has toured England with Opera for All and Opera for Schools, and the Far East with The Royal Opera and Bizet’s Carmen starring tenor Jose Carreras, and appeared on London’s West End Stage, in Repertory Theatre, and on Radio and Television in Britain. Stacey Almond now runs her own Music Event Management Company Nuts 4 Music, which regularly presents concerts at the Catalina Theatre and other popular Durban venues, and she has just released a CD called Geared for Opera.

Sarah Pudifin began playing violin at the age of four and has been studying for eight years with former KZNPO Principal Isaac Melamed. A former Durban Girls’ College pupil, she has numerous outstanding musical achievements to her credit despite her youth. Gaining distinction in overseas violin exams, she has studied at the Ascham School in Sydney, Australia. Sarah was recently appointed Leader of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Youth Orchestra and has just returned from an extensive tour of the country, including this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Appearing as a soloist with the Durban City Orchestra, of which she is Deputy Leader, she has played with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra both as soloist in the KZN Youth Concerto and as a tutti player. She is also a member of the South African National Youth Orchestra. Currently at Natal University studying law and music, she was awarded the Certificate of Merit in 2003, for the highest first-year mark for performance. She recently appeared to popular acclaim in the Super Starlets Catalina Classical Champagne Concert Series, and is set to do a recital at Durban Girl’s College with two other young DGC outstanding musicians.

Still in his 20’s, David Daniel has a wealth of experience accompanying and coaching young singers. A former Northwood Boys High pupil, he went on to study piano at the Durban Music and Ballet School, where he won the coveted Polliacks Trophy for best senior pianist. A straight A student, he specialised in quick study and playing at sight, for which he was awarded an honours certificate, and passed UNISA and Trinity College Cambridge final piano exams. David Daniel studied piano at Natal University with two of its most illustrious piano professors - Ruth Goveia and Isabella Stengel. From 1996 to 1999 he was accompanist for the popular Durban Boys Choir and toured South Africa and Europe with them. In 2000 David was appointed Music Director of Durban Boys Choir, and conducted and coached them for the next two years.

From Bach to Barbra will be directed by Caroline Smart, who also directed the smash hit Brutal Tunes. Performances are on August 13 and 14 at 20h00 and on August 15 at 18h30. The venue opens 90 minutes before the show for a picnic dinner.

Tickets R50 – bring food picnic baskets and braais will be available for those who wish to cook meat. There is a cash bar (no alcohol may be brought onto the premises). Limited secure parking is available.

Booking is essential. Contact Roland on 031 205 7602 (home) or 082 499 8636 or e-mail: roland@stansell.za.net




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