Archive for April, 2013

Verdi Celebration Concert – Greenside Theatre, Johannesburg

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Sempre Opera Greenside Theatre - Verdi Celebration

Sempre Opera celebrates two centuries of Verdi in Johannesburg Together with the international opera world, Sempre Opera celebrates Giuseppe Verdi’s two-hundredth birthday this year. A Verdi concert will be held on Sunday afternoon, 26 May at 15:30 in the Greenside Theatre, Johannesburg. This will be the second of three concerts in honour of one of the best-known opera composers. A selection of arias and ensembles, ranging from the time of his first opera (Oberto, 1839) to his last (Falstaff, 1893), will be performed. Giuseppe Verdi was born on 10 October 1813 in Parma, North Italy. Amongst locals he was known as the ‘swan of Busseto’, referring to the town where he lived. As noted composer of 30 Romantic operas, works such as Nabucco (1842), Rigoletto (1851 ), La Traviata (1953), Don Carlos (1867) and Otello (1887) are still frequently staged to captivate opera-lovers world-wide. Even those who claim to know nothing about opera will hum along with ‘Va pensiero’ (Nabucco), ‘La donna e mobile’ (Rigoletto) and the Anvil chorus (Il Trovatore). Sempre Opera’s second Verdi concert consists of a wide variety of arias and ensembles from his opera oeuvre. On Sunday 26 May at 15:30, audiences may look forward to excerpts from Oberto, with Aukse Trinkunas (mezzo soprano) and Chris Mostert (tenor) as well as Otello, with soprano Jo-Nette LeKay and tenor Coert Grobbelaar. Favourites from La Traviata, Rigoletto and Don Carlos may also be heard. Also on the programme are arias from Luisa Miller, Nabucco, La Forza del Destino, Un Ballo in Maschera and Falstaff with soprano Deirdré Blignaut-Rautenbach, mezzo soprano Linette van der Merwe and baritone Danie Verster. Two pianists, Ferdi Geyer and Paul Ferreira, will accompany the opera singers. Tickets for the Sempre Opera Verdi Celebration Concert of R100 and R80 (for pensioners) are available on-line at from the 1st of May or may be purchased at the theatre.

Those interested may contact Hannie Hefer at 011 793 2334 or send an email to

Verdi (1813-1901) Celebration Concert – Wakkerstroom Music Festival 2013

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The Wakkerstroom Music Festival was held on the weekend of 21-23 March 2013. Sempre Opera performed with “Verdi Bicentennial Concert”. Below an excerpt from a review by Paul Boekooi:

“Daar was vele ander hoogtepunte: Sempre Opera se gedenkkonsert vir Verdi (1813-1901) waarin vokale afronding en dramatiese krag in tien uittreksels tot lewe geroep is. Die toegif, “Va pensiero” uit Nabucco, was aangrypend en is ook tydens die galakonsert Saterdagaand gehoor”. (Paul Boekooi, Beeld 27 Maart 2013)

There were many other highlights: Sempre Opera performed ten excerpts in the Verdi (1813-1901) celebration concert where vocal finishing and dramatic power was brought to life. The encore, “Va Pensiero”, from Nabucco was moving and was also heard at the Saturday evening’s gala concert. (Paul Boekooi, Beeld 27 March 2013)

Sempre Opera in Wakkerstroom 2013