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STARLIGHT POP OPERA (article first published : 2006-07-29)

This year's Starlight Pop Opera, the eighth in the series, takes place on August 6, when the KZN Philharmonic appears in this starry, glittery evening, courtesy of FNB Corporate, at the Durban Country Club.

Traditionally this concert is a crowd-puller. So if you're a novice, be warned. You run the risk of being relegated to the sticks (somewhere approaching the southern banks of the Umgeni) unless you stake your place upfront, well before the stars begin to shine.

Free parking is at the ABSA Stadium, and First National Bank will donate R5 from every ticket sold to St Thomas' Home for Children, so be there, champers, adrenalin and all. Gates open at 15h00 and the concert starts at 17h30.

Conductor Leslie B Dunner returns from Chicago, Illinois, for this mid-year social event. Heading the soloists roster are local favourites Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe, returning to the fold after their absence from the Pop Opera stage last year. The other opera luminary on the bill is young Gauteng-based mezzo-soprano, Veramarie Meyer, following her outstanding KZN debut in Bravissimo Opera in March.

Starring as the cross-over component are singers Melanie Lowe and Crystal Tryon, along with sax whiz, Abbey Artico. The evening's two award-winning choral participants are the Durban Serenade Choral Society and the Kearsney College Choir.

Verdi's Nabucco Overture opens the eclectic programme. This includes Flotow's M'apari, Gounod's Sanctus, Bizet's Habanera, the Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana and the Entracte to Act 2 of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, among other pieces.

Bernstein's show-stopping Candide Overture launches the second half of the evening, followed by Summertime, If I Could, Going Home, Climb Every Mountain, You Raise Me Up, Kuch kuch hota kai, Conquest of Paradise, The Mission and a set from West Side Story.

Booking is at Computicket, at www.computicket.com or on 083 915 8000.




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