THE Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra's Opera and Choral Gala concert – together with award winning soloists, the Eastern Cape Children's choir and NMMU singers – will be a celebration of opera highlights this weekend.
Afternoon at the Opera takes place on Sunday at 3pm in Port Elizabeth's Feather Market Centre.
The four soloists prove that opera is alive and well among the younger generation. Annemarie Steenkamp and Phenya Modiane, both in their 20's (pictured), are members of Gauteng Opera, the leading opera company which grew from the renowned Black Tie Ensemble.
They are also members of Forté – the dynamic group which performs music of all genres for the corporate industry, and at events like the Aardklop Festival. Wearing clothes by fashion designer David Tlale for their performances, Forté has turned the traditionally staid opera world on its head.
Soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi has already been booked to join the Lyric Chicago Opera in the US for their 2014/2015 season.
Having won the 2012 ATKV Muziq competition, and coming second in the Hans Gabour Belvedere International Singing Competition in Austria, where she also received the Audience Prize and the Media Jury Prize, she is ready to become another South African singer set to take the opera world by storm.
Baritone Aubrey Lodewyk has also performed internationally in London, Berlin, and Norway; and recently returned from France, where he sang in the opera Il Mulatto, and performed as soloist at the International Mandela Day concert with the KZN Philharmonic in Paris.
The programme of works by Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Delibes, Puccini, Donizetti and more will be conducted by Alexander Fokkens.
Favourites, including the Habanera from Carmen, the Flower Duet (which achieved popularity as the British Airways commercial) and Madame Butterfly's Humming Chorus, will bring Gauteng Opera's mission of "opera for everyone" to the Eastern Cape as well.
Tickets are available from Computicket at R80 and R95, with a limited number of pensioners' and scholars' tickets at R60.