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OPERA AND CHORAL SHOWCASE (article first published : 2005-03-4)

Head for the University of KwaZulu-Natal for a sparkling musical occasion to mark the end of summer? The Opera Studio and Choral Academy (OSCA) at the UKZN is mounting an opera and choral showcase, featuring 18 soloists and two choruses.

Among the artists appearing will be Selby Hlangu, one of two nationally selected singers, who has recently returned from an eight-month spell with Opera Queensland, the professional company based in Brisbane.

In addition to the company's productions, Selby performed on numerous other occasions, and was invited to sing the South African anthem before a televised Super 12 game in New Zealand last year.

Bonginkosi Cingani, who features in an excerpt from the 2004 OSCA production of Mozart's Cosė fan tutte (Act 1), was also a national finalist in the most recent competition for the Opera Queensland programme.

Leading Durban pianist Andrew Warburton, who is also a vocal coach at the university, will be at the piano for the concert. The young singers are trained by voice teachers Colleen Philp and Madlen Tzankova, and musical direction is in the hands of David Smith.

The Showcase will present a wide range of both popular and more unusual numbers, from Handel to Johann Strauss.

The first half follows a 'gala concert' format, while the second half consists of staged opera scenes in costume (staging by Pamela Tancsik), and includes some African traditional music, performed with the help of the University's Howard College Campus Choir. The programme is designed to show off a wealth of young and talented South African singers.

There will be two performances only of The Showcase on March 11 at 19h30 and March 13 at 14h30. The venue is the Jubilee Hall at OSCA, situated immediately below the Howard College Campus on Princess Alice Avenue (accessible from either Ridge Road or Francois Road). Secure parking is available behind the Jubilee Centre. (Look for the 'Student Parking' sign).

Tickets R40 each (R20 senior citizens and students) and can be purchased at the door, or reserved by phoning Maggie Reddy on 031 2601672.




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