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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

FAMOUS OPERATIC CHORUSES (article first published : 2000-09-2)

The Playhouse Opera will play host to Famous Operatic Choruses on September 23 at 19h30 and September 24 at 15h00 when 1,000 voices drawn from numerous leading KZN choirs renowned for their high musical quality and charm offer a meaningful artistic contribution to South Africa’s Heritage Day celebrations. The event is produced by Opera Africa in association with the Playhouse Company.

"KZN’s wealth of extraordinary talented choirs is renowned throughout the country,” says Opera Africa founder and producer Sandra de Villiers.“ Their truly inspired singing has been evident for decades in national chorale competitions and Opera Africa’s involvement with them now is to advance their skills and creativity even further; this time in a new genre and in a new effort to bring them increasingly before the public as performers.”

The programme offers a stylised performance of popular opera choruses by Verdi, Puccini, Weber, Mozart and Wagner accompanied by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. “The production will also reflect the nationally and internationally individually renowned artistry, experience and expertise of a highly skilled production team,” adds Sandra. This comprises Hein de Villiers (chorus master), Andrew Verster (designer), Themi Venturas (director) and Gerhard Geist (conductor).

Opera Africa thrives on its ability to absorb the traditions of different cultures. “Increasingly, South African cities are becoming cosmopolitan centres, with customs, observances and varying attitudes from the other parts of Africa, Asia and Europe stretching back centuries,” Sandra explains. ”These cultures are now enriching musical life in our country and indeed are having far reaching effects on all the arts here.

It is believed that on September 23 a number of celebrities, politicians and other well-known personalities will join the choir (booking at Opera Africa). Booking for the concert on September 24 is through TicketWeb. More details from Opera Africa on (031) 261-6708 or fax (031) 261-6938.




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