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La Traviata – Verdi

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Sempre Opera returns to Joburg Theatre with La Traviata (Verdi)

Sempre Opera will be staging one of the most popular operas of all time, the heart-breaking, yet beloved classic, Verdi’s La Traviata in June 2019.  Based on the 1848 novel, The Lady of the Camellias, by Alexandre Dumas, the opera tells the story of the Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry, one of opera’s greatest heroines, based on the real-life courtesan Marie Duplessis, who died in 1847 aged just 23. She has sworn off true love until Alfredo Germont walks into her life, loving her passionately. Her life takes a tragic turn when she risks all for a chance at enduring love with him when Alfredo’s father Giorgio, forces her to abandon his son, to protect his family’s reputation.

From the frenzy of Violetta’s pleasure-filled life to her heart-wrenching decision to leave her beloved, Verdi’s treasured opera is a captivating tribute to what it means to live and die for love and gives us one of opera’s most glorious heroines, a woman of boundless humanity and emotional depth. This tragic tale also is an important intertextual reference in the Greta Garbo film Camille and more recently Baz Lurhman’s musical film Moulin Rouge amongst others.

Cape Town based soprano Leah Gunter makes her company and Joburg Theatre debut as Violetta Valery, the worldly courtesan who has all the men of Paris at her feet. Leah is a well-accomplished soprano who has recently received her Masters of Music in Performance at the University of Cape Town.  In June 2018, she participated in The Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition where she was invited by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for a master class.  Leah has received numerous nominations and accolades including a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nominee in the category for the Best Performance – Female – in an opera for the role of Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town in 2017.

The role of Alfredo Germont will be sung by Johannesburg based tenor Yudi Cohen who was born in London and studied in the USA and Australia.  In 2008 he graduated with a BTech in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria where he was the winning recipient of the Pretorium Trust Award and Absa Merit Award for the Most Outstanding Opera Student.

Well-known baritone, Danie Verster made his professional debut at the Natal Playhouse in 1986 when he sang the role of Giorgio Germont. This will his sixteenth production of La Traviata in the role of Alfredo’s father who demands that Violetta separates from his son, as their relationship threatens his daughter and Alfredo’s sister’s impending marriage. In 1989 he departed for Germany where he worked as a soloist at the Freiburg Stadt Theatre until his return to South Africa in 1996.  With a Gesangspedagogische Diploma from the Freiburger Musik Hochschule at the Freiburg University in Germany, Danie has an impressive vocal repertoire which includes various opera roles and oratorio performances.

Pierre du Toit will be directing La Traviata.  Pierre has been involved with cutting edge voice science technology and has been instrumental in the implementation of the Voce Vista computer-aided voice training system at the Tshwane University of Technology, a system consequently introduced at the Julliard School of Music in New York and at the most important training centres internationally. Pierre has directed and designed the sets, costumes and props for operas such as L’Elisire d’amore (Donizetti), Hansel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Faust (Gounod), Falstaff (Verdi), La Cenerentola (Rossini), Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart).

La Traviata (Verdi) will be fully staged and sung in Italian with English translations projected. The Capital Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by the talented and award-winning Schalk van der Merwe.

La Traviata (Verdi) will open on Saturday 22 June on The Mandela stage with performances on 23, 26, 28 and 30 June 2019.  Shows are at 19h30 from 22 to 28 June, and at 15h00 on Sunday 30 June.

Ticket prices range from R200 to R475 and can be booked online by visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or calling 0861 670 670.  There are group booking discounts – please contact the theatre directly for these on 011 877 6853.

Mozart Requiem & Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Sempre Opera ends 2018 on a high note

After a successful season of Carmen (Bizet) in Johannesburg during the month of June, Sempre Opera will end the year in cooperation with the Capital Chamber Orchestra and the Symphony Choir of Pretoria, under the leadership of conductor Schalk van der Merwe, in the spirit of the season with the Mozart Requiem and Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio on 1 December, 19:30 in the Heldesaal (Hall of Heroes) of the Voortrekker Monument.

The acoustics of the majestic Hall of Heroes with its thirty-meter vaulted ceiling, compares to European cathedrals, and has an echo of six seconds which makes it ideal for the performance of these two iconic compositions. It also showcases the world’s longest historical marble frieze. This concert appropriately concludes the celebration of the eightieth anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the Voortrekker Monument.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his Requiem commissioned by an anonymous philanthropist, and according to legend believed that he was busy composing his own funeral music. His work on the Requiem in d-minor was an all-consuming passion for Mozart during the last months of his life. He left his final masterpiece unfinished at the time of his death on 5 December 1791.

Camille Saint-Saëns completed his Oratorium de Noël/Christmas Oratorio in 1858 while appointed as the organist of the Roman Catholic Church L’église de la Madeleine in Paris, France, within two weeks in order to be in time for a Christmas day performance. The work is based on texts from the Old and New Testament, Psalms and the gospels as well as Catholic Christmas liturgy. The chamber music styled instrumentation and lyrical parts create a pastoral atmosphere that led to this becoming one of Saint-Saëns’ most performed works.

The soloists performing during this concert is Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach (soprano), Aukse Trinkunas (mezzo-soprano), Linette van der Merwe (mezzo-soprano), Chris Mostert (tenor), Danie Verster (bariton) en Otto Maidi (bass-baritone). Tickets for the concert cost R150 online at www.quicket.co.za and R175 at the doors. Further inquiries can be sent to info@sempreopera.co.za.

Mozart Requiem & Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

sempre-opera-mozart-and-saint-saens

Come and join us for an exciting concert at the Weskoppies Main Hall with the famous Mozart Requiem and the Beautiful Oratorio de Noël of Saint-Saëns. This is going to be a memorable experience and will enhance the Christmas spirit.

Dates:                 25 November, 19:00 & 27 November, 15:00
Venue:                Weskoppies Main Hall
Bookings:           R120 at: www.sempreopera.co.za, info@sempreopera.co.za and at the door on the day of the performance.
Soloists:              Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach, Linette van der Merwe, Aukse Trinkunas, Chris Mostert, Danie Verster
Conductor:         Schalk van der Merwe
Sempre Opera Instrumental Ensemble and Ad Hoc Chorus.

Bookings can be done through following details on our BOOKINGS page.

Sempre Opera by Aardklop – Mozart gaan fliek toe

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Kliek op die banier om dit te vergroot, Kry kaartjies HIER

Mozart-gaan-Fliek-toe

Coffee & Tea – Centurion Theatre

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

tea cup en koffiekantata 7Coffee and Tea will be served!
Since 2011, Sempre Opera has promoted opera by presenting concerts and full productions. This month and early September, two more full-length operas are staged; Bach’s Coffee Cantata and Mozart’s Bastien & Bastienna.
Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Be still, stop chattering), BWV 211, also known as the secular Coffee Cantata was composed by JS Bach around 1732 and 1735. Although this work is classified as a cantata, it actually is a miniature comic opera telling the humorous tale of a daughter, Lieschen, hopelessly addicted to coffee and her long-suffering father, Herr Schlendrian, who seems to be at his wit’s end because of her obsession. The role of Lieschen is sung by soprano Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach. Danie Verster (baritone) is the father and Walter Fourie is the tenor/narrator.
WA Mozart was only 12 years old when he composed his first miniature opera, Bastien & Bastienna, staged in 1768. This opera in a teacup tells the story of Bastien and Bastienna’s pains and pleasure in love, as well as the role that Colas, a mock magician, plays in their lives. Bastienna is sung by Ailyn Nienaber (soprano) and Herman Pretorius (tenor) makes his Sempre Opera debut as Bastien. Rex Nigrini plays the comical baritone character, Colas. Salome Coertze is the pianist for both productions and direction is by Danie Verster and Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach.
Both miniature productions are staged at the Centurion Theatre on Sunday 28 August and 4 September at 15:00. Tickets for the concerts will be sold for R120 per person and can be booked by making an  Electronic transfer to the Sempre Opera’s bank account or directly from the Theatre (012 664 8710) Tickets will also be available at the door. For further information please direct enquiries to info@sempreopera.co.za or visit the website at www.sempreopera.co.za and navigate to bookings.

Death by Opera

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Come and join us with our next performance at the Centurion Theatre, the show will consist of death scenes from operas as noted in the poster below!

Bookings can be made at the Theater by calling 012 664 8710, by following the steps on the Bookings Page, or at the door. Bear in mind that door tickets cannot be guaranteed.

Death-By-Opera-13-May-2016-rev03

 

Highlights from Don Carlos & Die Fledermaus

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Hello All, our next performance will be together with the Sempre Opera Instrumental Ensemble, featuring highlights from “die Fledermaus” and “Don Carlos”.

Please go to the bookings tab to make a booking, or call Centurion Theatre at +27 (0)12 664 8710 or +27 (0)72 245 4390

(Click on the image to see the complete poster)

Don-Carlo-Fledermaus-5

 

Excerpts from Die Fledermaus (Strauss) and Don Carlos (Verdi) in Centurion Theatre

Sempre Opera and the Sempre Opera Instrumental Ensemble kick off 2016 on Sunday 28 February at 15:00 with a performance of excerpts from Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos and Die Fledermaus by Strauss.

The first half of the programme is dedicated to well-known arias and ensembles from Don Carlos performed by Laetitia du Plessis (soprano), Aukse Trinkunas (mezzo soprano), Chris Mostert (tenor), Danie Verster (baritone) and Rex Nigrini (bass baritone). Don Carlos, based on a drama by the German, Friedrich Schiller, on the conflict between love, friendship, idealism and responsibility, is regarded is as one of Verdi’s darkest works. Well-known arias like Tu che la vanita (soprano), Nel giardin del bello (mezzo soprano), Per me guinto (baritone) and the quartet Ah, si  aledetto, sospetto fatale will be heard.

In the second half of the programme the dark and sombre tone of the first half is replaced with the lightness and nimbleness of Die Fledermaus (Strauss). In the early 1870s, when Johann Strauss started composing Die Fledermaus he was already famous as the waltz king. This operetta’s première in 1874 was in the midst of the operetta’s Golden Era in Vienna. By 1900, more than 300 performances were presented just at the Theater an der Wien. The sopranos Deirdré Blignaut- Rautenbach and Marina Botha- Spies join the other singers for ever popular arias like the Czardas, Adele se audition aria, Prince Orlofski, the duet Trinke liebchen, trinke schnell and ensemble Brüderlein, und Schwesterlein.

The singers will be accompanied by the Sempre Opera Instrumental Ensemble and pianist Paul Ferreira under the baton of Schalk van der Merwe. Tickets for the concert will be at R120 per person and can be booked by making an electronic transfer to the Sempre Opera’s bank account. Tickets will also be available at the door. For further information please direct enquiries to info@sempreopera.co.za

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Hello All, our next Concert will be Amahl And The Visitors!

Please also have a look at our Facebook Event and come and join us on the day!


Chris Iphone S5 2015-11-19 001

Mozart Requiem – Pretoria!

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

After the successful concert of the Requiem in Polokwane,

it has been decided to repeat the concert in Pretoria on 15 November 2015.

Ticket sales from 5 October at www.citysoiree.co.za

 

Sempre Opera with Big Wig Opera at Roodepoort

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Lelisir damore