Artscape to celebrate Madiba

2011-06-07 11:52
Cape Town - On 18 and 19 June former President Nelson Mandela will be honoured with choir performances at the Artscape theatre in Cape Town.

The Cape Philharmonic orchestra, a marimba orchestra and five of the city's choirs are participating.

The producer is Ali Mpofu of Ukhamba productions in collaboration with the Artscape Theatre. The Conductor is Lungile Jacobs and the music director is Charles Banjatwa.

The choirs that will participate are Joyful harmonies, the Simon Estes choir, Heavenly voices, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's choir and Pro Cantu.

They will perform with the Cape Philharmonic orchestra on 18 June at 19:30 and on 19 June at 15:00 with the Abavuki marimba and jazz orchestra. On both days the choirs will be part of a mass-choir that will perform SBP Mnomiya's Rainbow Nation. Mandela's favourite poet, Zolani Mkiya, will tell stories behind the songs.

According to Mpofu, the chosen songs are all South African and take the legacy of Mandela into account, together with the milestones of his life and lifetime, the struggle years to freedom, peace and the creation of the Rainbow nation.

The songs that were chosen consider the different decades that define South Africa's turbulent yet triumphant journey. It includes, Amathwasa for the nineties. Siyabamba was composed in the decade that ushered in Mandela's freedom and the first democratic election in 1994.

Celebration of unity and diversity

The song Unwel’olude Mahatma Gandhi praises the political views of Mahatma Gandhi namely passive resistance. It is a recitative-like solo baritone piece followed by the choir.

Plea for Africa is one of the oldest formal compositions by a black South African. John Knox Bokwe composed it in Scotland in the 1890's. It drew the public's attention to the deteriorating circumstances of the black South Africans in the former colony.

Bayethe Ma-Afrika includes a quartet that involves Sontonga's Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika which will feature a soprano's voice over the quartet and the choir. Mandela's role as peacemaker is celebrated in the sacred song.

Banjatwa says The Choral Tribute to Madiba will be proudly South African and will honour tradition, but will be told in a contemporary, dynamic way.  It will be a celebration of the unity and diversity, which make us proudly South African.

The concerts are part of the Umbiyozo youth festival. Tickets Cost R40 at Computicket.

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