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OSCA BENEFIT CONCERT (article first published : 2007-03-3)

The OSCA Benefit Concert • Johannesburg 2007 - the third in a series of unique fundraising concerts - will be held on October 17, 2007, at Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

This exclusive event - previously staged in London and New York - features performances by some of the country’s brightest operatic stars from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Opera Studio and Choral Academy (OSCA). The evening will be hosted by internationally-renowned musicologist, former chief opera and music critic to the London Financial Times and associate editor of Opera magazine, Max Loppert and his wife, OSCA co-founder Delayne Loppert.

The guest speaker is Cheryl Carolus, one of South Africa's most highly regarded businesswomen and long-time supporter of the Arts in South Africa. Amongst other Directorships, Cheryl Carolus currently serves as Chairperson of SA National Parks Board and is fulltime Executive Chair of Peotona Group Holdings. Previous positions she has held include SA High Commissioner to the UK; Deputy Secretary General of the African National Congress and CEO of South African Tourism.

Patrons of the event include internationally acclaimed diva Sibongile Khumalo; esteemed entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe, named as one of the 20 most powerful women in SA; Joseph Shabalala - universally renowned musician, composer and founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Philip Miller - celebrated South African composer and producer; and Benjamin Zander - famed conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and professor at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music.

The OSCA Benefit Concerts attract high profile individuals and companies who are committed to meeting the needs of our developing society through their support of the arts, educational programs and social change. The evening will provide an exceptional opportunity for companies to show their support of such projects, as well as a unique opportunity for profiling their organisations in front of key decision makers from across South Africa and further afield.

The audience will be treated to a unique programme of song, which includes arias from some of the world’s finest operas, ensembles and traditional African compositions. This captivating program, performed by outstanding OSCA students, provides an invaluable insight into the immense vocal talent in our country.

OSCA is producing singers of international stature, innovative musicians, conductors and educators whose skills and passion enrich the lives of those around them. However, the reality is that many of these students live with the constant difficulty of covering their tuition and residence fees and the threat of having to abandon their studies because of the inability to meet them. For students and their teachers this has too often resulted in heartbreaking situations. Their learning facilities and educational resources are in need of upgrading, and in so doing, will assist students in reaching their highest potential, allowing them access to customised performance spaces and professional equipment.

Funds raised through this outstanding series of benefit concerts address those needs through the generosity of individual donations and corporate sponsorships.

For more information visit the OSCA Benefit Concert web site at www.oscabenefitconcert.co.za




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