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EARTH WINE AND FIRE (article first published : 2005-09-2)

Due to be launched on September 9 is an exceptional under-the-stars musical event, Earth Wine and Fire, which will take place in conjunction with Wakefields’ Estate Agency at the Hornby Lifestyle Centre in the Assagay Country Valley.

In a cosy atmosphere where guests can relax in warm smart-casual attire, these varied musical evenings will host the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and a line-up of some of South Africa’s leading performers. Earth Wine and Fire promises to be a musical and foodie experience with a difference.

The concert on September 9 is specifically designed as a trilogy to provide for a wide range of music tastes and kicks off with popular classical music, followed by well-known opera excerpts and ends with exhilarating swinging sounds from such greats as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.

“We see this as a signature event for Durban which will provide a unique and memorable experience that music lovers will want to repeat time and again,” said Keith Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields’ Estate Agency, sponsor of the event.

Adapted for KwaZulu-Natal, this stylish musical alfresco concert has its origins steeped in the tradition of the Glyndebourne Music Season and London’s Pavarotti in Hyde Park concert. “Although a relatively new concept in the country, it is already establishing a fashionable following,” says Kathleen Hornby of salt, a deluxe event company.

Kathleen, who was general manager of Prue Leith’s operation in London, was involved in the Pavarotti in Hyde Park black tie concert. “It was awesome. There was a huge arena, and as the last sounds of Pavarotti drifted over the lake, so the boats carrying the guests sailed across the water to the arena for dinner. We want to create this same breathtaking experience here, but adapt it to local surroundings. While doing so, it is our vision to provide a platform for outstanding local artists and introduce a cultural familiarity to the beautiful but undiscovered Assagay Valley,” she said.

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra is also pulling out all the stops to make this a memorable evening. They will be contracting outstanding well-known local artists to perform at the event including talented operatic soprano Zenneth Cibane, the velvet voiced Tim Moloi, Elena Kerimova, first violinist with the KZNPO, and the Gee-Jays.

Commencing in the early evening, this all-encapsulating lifestyle experience includes a light supper designed to delight. The food will be simple, abundant and fresh, and wines will be chosen with imagination and subtlety.

Fires and mushroom heaters will create a cosy atmosphere because early Spring in the Assagay valley can be chilly. While the venue will be made as comfortable as possible, Kathleen suggests that guests should wrap up well.

“With Earth Wine and Fire we are creating a different experience, which we hope will not only bring together hundreds of like-minded people but also introduce a ‘must-be-there’ annual event to KwaZulu-Natal,” said Kathleen.

Earth Wine and Fire takes place on September 9 at 18h30 for 19h30 at Hornby Lifestyle Centre, Assagay Valley. Dress warm and smart casual. Tickets R175. A limited number of tickets will be available from selected Wakefields’ branches. More information and bookings through Kristi-Lee Hynd on kristilee@wakefields.co.za or 082 968 0036.




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