Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mozart at the Movies

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Hello All, herewith our next performance at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival, the same program will be performed at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square, Sandton on the 12th April 2015.

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Amahl and the night visitors – Menotti

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Adoration_of_the_Magi_Hieronymus_Bosch_autograph_ca._1470–75_(NY)Sempre Opera’s first full-scale opera Since 2011, Sempre Opera has presented opera concerts, fulfilling its mission to create a platform to, once again, revive opera in South Africa. Sempre Opera’s vision is to present a full-length opera and this year, it is realised with the staging of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

On 17 October this year, opera lovers may enjoy the full production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 1951 Menotti wrote this opera commissioned by Peter Herman Adler, chief executive of the National Broadcasting Company of the USA, to be screened on television. Both the libretto and composition were written by Menotti. This one act opera tells the story of Amahl, a disabled little boy, who is miraculously healed.

The three magi, on their journey to the Holy Child, stay over at the impoverished household of Amahl and his mother. These three kings bear many precious gifts and Amahl’s mother is caught stealing gold in order to help her disabled son. The three kings forgive her for her misdeed and insists that she keeps the gold. Nevertheless, she tries to return it and Amahl offers his shepherd’s rod, doubling as a crutch when he realises that he can walk without it. Amahl then joins the magi on their journey to pay homage to the Holy Child.

Amahl and the Night Visitors was inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s painting ‘Adoration of the Magi’ where the three wise men pay homage to the Christ Child. Menotti comments the following in the programme of the first performance: “This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.”

This production is directed by the well-known baritone, Danie Verster, and the role of Amahl is sung by one of his student, Marli Albertse, from the music centre at Hoërskool Wonderboom. Linette van der Merwe (mezzo soprano) sings the role of Amahl’s mother and Chris Mostert (tenor), Coert Grobbelaar (tenor) and Rex Nigrini (bass-baritone) may be seen in the roles of the three magi; Kings Kaspar, Melchior en Balthasar. Lené Venter (soprano) sings the role of the servant. The choir of villagers and shepherds consists of students from Hoërskool Wonderboom. The singers are accompanied on piano by Rudolf Geldenhuis and flute by Laurian Verster.

The performance on 17 October will be in Pretoria at 19:00 at the Eduplex Auditorium (Cowgill Street, Queenswood). Tickets for Amahl and the Night Visitors are available at R100 and R80 (for pensioners and school students). Tickets are available on-line at www.concertmaster.co.za and also at the doors. Those interested may further make inquiries by phoning Linette van der Merwe at 082 923 1540 or by sending an email to info@sempreopera.co.za.

Canzoni d’amore

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Spring is in the air with Songs of Love!

Sempre Opera musically celebrates spring with Canzoni d’amore (Songs of Love) in Witrivier on Sunday, 14 September 2014, 15:00 at the Casterbridge Music Academy Theatre. Based in Pretoria, Sempre Opera was established in 2011 by a group of opera singers who identified the need for a new company. In 2012, the Sempre Opera Instrumental Ensemble (SOIE) came into being and has accompanied the singers ever since. Members of this company are all classically trained musicians with various careers: From electrical engineers, lawyers, Afrikaans lecturers, art gallery owners, architects and those fortunate enough to earn a living by making and teaching music. All musicians share the dream to bring opera as an art form to the public, also as a travelling company hoping that the Mpumalanga performance will be the first of many. Members of the Sempre Opera Company, performing in this concert, include the sopranos Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach and Jo-Nette LeKay, mezzo-sopranos Aukse Trinkunas and Linette van der Merwe, tenors Johan Coertzen, Coert Grobbelaar and Chris Mostert, as well as the bass-baritone Rex Nigrini, who will combine their talents with the well-known Nelspruit tenor Walter Fourie and the American soprano, Erin Heisel, to treat opera lovers to a wide variety of arias, duets and ensembles by composers such as Puccini, Donizetti, Verdi, Mozart and Bizet. Theatre goers may look forward to the evergreen “Una furtiva lagrima” (Donizetti), “Madamina, il catalogo è questo” (the catalogue aria, by Mozart), “Casta Diva” (Bellini), “O mio babbino caro” (Puccini), “Celeste Aida” (Verdi) and the Rigoletto quartet (Verdi). As guest artists of Sempre Opera, Walter Fourie (Nelspruit tenor) may be heard with “Il mio tesoro” and Erin Heisel (American soprano) with the Queen of the Night aria, both well-loved works by Mozart. Tickets for the Sempre Opera concert Canzoni d’amore are available at R100 and R80 (for pensioners and learners), at Die Stoep in Nelspruit – 013 741 2551, on line at www.concertmaster.co.za or may be obtained at the theatre.

Please download the Singers Bio’s Here.

For more information, Linette van der Merwe may be contacted at 082 923 1540 or via email at info@sempreopera.co.za

Sempre Opera Celebrates Women

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

With National Women’s day and Women’s month around the corner, Sempre Opera, in co-operation with Auto and General Theatre on the Square (Sandton), is delighted to pay homage with their concert Bellissima—‘very beautiful’ in Italian—to the invaluable role women have played in society.

Breath-taking arias and ensembles by Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti about, for and by women are bound to enchant all present at this concert on 17 August 2014 at 15:00. Sopranos Alexandra Wald and Deirdrè Blignaut-Rautenbach; mezzo soprano Aukse Trinkunas; tenors Johan Coertzen and Coert Grobbelaar; baritone Danie Verster and bass-baritone Thabang Senekal will be weaving the magic.

From Pucinni’s La Boheme, concert goers can look forward to Musetta’s highly popular aria “Quando me vo”; Coline’s coat-aria “Vecchia zimara senti”; and the duet between Marcello and Rudolfo, “O Mimi, tu pio non torni”.

Two bel canto arias and a duet from Donizetti’s La Favorita (“Quando le soglie patterne”) and Don Pasquale (“Bella si comme un angelo”), as well as several popular and lesser known segments from Verdi’s Ernani, Rigoletto, Aida, La forza del destino and La Traviata offer enough variety to please even the most discerning connoisseur.

The singers will be accompanied by the Sempre Opera Intrumentale Ensemble and pianists Salomè Coertzen en Rudolf Geldenhuis. Tickets for the concert will be available for R 100 and R80 (students and pensioners).

Tickets can be obtained from the Auto and General Theatre on the square between 10:30 and 16:00 at 011 883 8606 or after hours at 083 377 4969.

Concerto di Pasqua

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Armonia 20 April Persfoto

Sacred Music for Easter in Nazareth House

Appropriate music for Easter range from bigger oratorios like the St. Matthew’s or St. John’s Passion by J.S. Bach to the more intimate Stabat Mater Masses, Cantatas, Seven Words and Lamentations which portrays the death of Christ thematically through music. For 2014’s Easter, Sempre Opera in cooperation with the Armonia Choir, under the baton of Gerrit Scheepers, decided to perform Franz Schubert’s (1797-1828) Mass in G Major, with arias and ensembles from other oratorios, titled Concerto di Pasqua.

Schubert was 18 years old during the composition of his second Mass and his 167th musical composition in 1815. Legend has it he only took five days to complete the Mass in G Major and that it was intended for a congregation of Lichtental. This composition of Schubert with its lyrical melody and rich harmonies are regarded as one of the highlights of his oeuvre of 998 compositions. Members of Sempre Opera, the tenor Chris Mostert and soprano Linelle Wimbles, as well as the baritone Stephan Gerricke will perform this particular work together with the Armonia Choir, on Easter Sunday, 20 April 2014.

Supplementary to the Mass in G Major, arias and ensembles form other oratorios of Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Rossini can also be heard with sopranos Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach and Jo-Nette Lekay, mezzo-sopranos Aukse Trinkunas and Linette van der Merwe, tenors Johan Coertzen and Chris Mostert and bass-baritone and basses Thabang Senekal and Johan Scheepers. The choir and soloists are accompanied by the Sempre Opera Ensemble and pianists Ferdi Geyer and Paul Ferreira.

The concert will take place at Nazareth House (Francis Roberio Street, Pretoria), on 20 April 2014 at 15:00. Tickets for the concert are on sale for R80 and R60 (students and pensioners) by sending an email to gerrit@armonia.co.za or at the door prior to the concert. Enquiries can be directed to info@sempreopera.co.za or by telephone at 082 923 1540.

Sempre Opera in Namibia

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Members of the Sempre Opera Singers and Instrumental Ensemble recently returned from a short but successful tour in Namibia where they performed in the National Theatre of Namibia in Windhoek.

Herewith an excerpt from Beeld about the Concert:

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Sempre Opera reis na Windhoek

Sondag 23 Februarie 2014

 Lede van Sempre Opera en die Sempre Opera-orkesensemble tree Donderdag en Vrydag op in Windhoek.

Die geselskap se program, A Night at the Opera, word aangebied as ’n huldeblyk aan Cobus van Lill, wat sy lewe grootliks gewy het aan die bevordering van klassieke musiek in Namibië.

Van Lill is twee jaar gelede dood.

Gretel Coetzee, ’n sopraan van Windhoek, deel die verhoog met Sempre Opera se Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach (sopraan), Linette van der Merwe ­(mezzosopraan), Chris Mostert (tenoor) en Coert Grobbelaar (tenoor).

Die begeleiding is deur Ferdi Geyer (klavier) en die ensemble is onder leiding van Schalk van der Merwe.

Sempre Opera sien dié besoek as ’n stap in die rigting om homself te vestig as ’n reisende geselskap wat opera as kunsvorm bevorder.

Photo’s of the trip to Namibia will be uploaded to our Facebook Page HERE

Operetta Gala Concert Success!

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Hello All, we had a very successful concert on the 24th of November at the Greenside Theatre thanks to all of the singers, instrumentalists and guests who made the performance reach the heights it did. Thank you.

Click HERE for a wonderful wright up by Paul Boekooi, published in the Beeld newspaper on 29 November 2013.

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Please go to our Facebook page HERE to have a look at some other pictures of the day.

Keep an eye on our website for the next up coming concerts.