Renowned local musicians join SA stars on Innibos opera stage
Several local musicians will join internationally acclaimed South African stars – soprano Loveline Madumo, bass Otto Maidi and mezzo Linette van der Merwe – on stage at the 2023 Innibos Opera Extravaganza.
Feature image: Walter Fourie
Opera lovers can look forward to delighting in home-grown talent by virtuoso pianist and harpist Theresa Prinsloo; pianists Tobias Kruger, Lizanne Barnard and Janette Rottcher; and the Nocoré Ensemble, which wowed audiences at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival earlier this year.
Taking place on 2 July at 13:00 at the Mbombela City Theatre, Opera Extravaganza is set to enchant the audience with classics such as Pablo de Sarasate’s violin fantasy Carmen Fantasy, and an eight-hand, two-piano arrangement of Mozart’s overture to The Marriage of Figaro.
Madumo, one of the first black opera singers in South Africa, was first exposed to classical music by her violin-playing brother, Bernard, who used to take her to concerts. That’s where she developed her love of opera.
Maidi was a chorus member of the State Theatre Opera Chorus and the Pro Musica Opera Chorus. He has performed in various opera roles, including Sacristan and Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca, Bonzo in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème.
Van der Merwe made her solo debut in 1992 as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) and has performed various other opera roles, including Flora Bervoix in La Traviata (Verdi) and Ida in Die Fledermaus (Strauss). She also played the role of Siebèl in Faust (Gounod), directed by the Symphony Orchestra of Pretoria at the South African State Theatre and, in 2019, was invited to perform Derde Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte in Croatia. In 2022, she was invited to perform in Opera Pannonica’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) in Dubrovnik.
The esteemed Juilliard School graduate Zanta Hofmeyr will also dazzle on the violin. Several of the choral delights from operatic repertoire will be performed by the Nocoré Ensemble, and Prinsloo will lead six virtuoso pianists.
Acclaimed tenor and Lowvelder Walter Fourie is the producer of this magnificent production.
Poetry set to music
Innibos’ superb line-up of poetry, jazzy swing and ballads will also set the city alight.
Renowned Lowveld artist Lizanne Barnard will bring several art genres together in her production Kuns inni Liedjiebos on 30 June at 18:00 at Christie’s at 32 on Russell.
In line with Innibos’ 2023 ‘Fresh’ theme, Barnard got the public to submit poems with the themes ‘fresh’, ‘new beginnings’ and ‘happiness’ and explored various music styles, including a youth choir, classical quartet, marimba and flute, and drums and guitars, and set the poems to music.
She also asked sculptors, ceramic artists and painters to draw inspiration from the poems to create their art. Participating artists include Anton and Hanlie Bosch, Ilona Petzer, Mariana Zwaan and Carel de Beer.
Well-known rocker and visual artist Jan Blohm, the guest performer, will bring his songs and paintings to the stage.
The art will be exhibited at Christie’s during Innibos.
The Harvard Krokodiloes
Also not to be missed is the Harvard Krokodiloes, who will perform at Christie’s at 32 on Russell at 10h30 on 2 July, as part of their 2023 World Summer Tour.
The Kroks, as they are fondly called by audiences across the globe, consists of 12 tuxedo-clad Harvard undergraduates who have been charming audiences since 1946 with their signature blend of jazz, funk, rock ’n roll and ballads.
Instant crowd-pleasers, Harvard’s oldest cappella group prides itself on musical excellence. This, combined with their unique blend of snappy choreography and witty humour, has riveted public and private audiences in over 60 countries.
For more information about the highly anticipated Afrikaans drama, comedy, lifestyle, music, art and book programmes and ticket prices, visit www.innibos.co.za. Tickets are available at Computicket.