Spring Season – Concert 1

Programme:

George Gershwin: Porgy and Bess Symphonic Picture
George Gershwin: Summer Time from Porgy and Bess
Bess, You Is My Woman from Porgy and Bess
Gustav Mahler: Symphony no1 in D major Titan

Jointly performed by the Joburg & KZN Philharmonic Orchestras

Conductor: Wolfram Christ

Wolfram Christ, long-time first Principal Viola with the Berlin Philharmonic, Principal Viola of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Professor at Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, has become highly regarded as a conductor epitomising sincerity and musical integrity.

Praised for his exhilarating and sensitive interpretations, Wolfram Christ has already worked with orchestras on five continents, including the Munich and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, the Royal Danish Orchestra Copenhagen, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart of Bologna, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Basque National Orchestra San Sebastián, Simón Bolívar Orchestra Caracas, Auckland Philharmonia, KZN Philharmonic Orchestra Durban, Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, the German Radio Philharmonic Saarbrücken, Camerata Madrid and the South West German Chamber Orchestra Pforzheim. Between 2004 and 2008 Wolfram Christ was Principal Conductor of the Kurpfalz Chamber Orchestra Mannheim. Throughout this time he led the ensemble to a period of increased concert activity at home and abroad, and collaborated with internationally established soloists such as Sabine Meyer, Emmanuel Pahud, and Renaud Capuçon.

Soloist: Linda Nteleza (soprano)

Linda comes from Khayelitsha in Cape Town. She is a postgraduate of UCT Opera School and is a member of Cape Town Opera studio. In 2013 she was a finalist in a prestigious Belvedere Singing Competition in Dusseldorf and later that year she became an award winner of “I live to sing” documentary in New York.

Linda has extensive operatic experience, she has performed in opera productions such as Porgy and Bess, Don Giovanni and La Bohem and has appeared in opera theatres in Madrid, Tianjin, New York and Cape Town.

She has also performed at Glimmerglass Festival in New York, Aix en Provance and Edinburgh international festivals.

Soloist: Njabulo Mthimkhulu (bass-baritone)

Njabulo Mthimkhulu grew up in Kwa-Mashu near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2008 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Opera. After his European debut in Sweden as Jean in Boesman’s Julie, he was recruited to further his studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, by Professor Barbara Hill-Moore (Distinguished Professor of the Meadows School of the Arts). He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Masters in Music Performance and went on to Dallas Opera Young Artist Program, where he sang for three years.
He has sung Marullo in Rigoletto and de Bretigny in Manon with the Cape Town Opera and was a soloist for Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Missa Cellensis, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Schubert Mass in G. His repertoire includes the title role in Don Giovanni, Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rambaldo in La Rondine, Belcore in L’elisir D’amore, and Sid in Albert Herring. He sang the world premiere roles of Librettist in Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Hani and Peter Klatzow’s Words from a Broken String in 2010 and recently repeated the roles for Gauteng Opera’s Cula Mzansi. In 2015 he sang the role of Nelson Mandela at the world premiere of Juan Burgers’ Ubuntu-The Opera at the Playhouse in Durban. He recently portrayed the role of Schaunard with Africa Arts production “La Bohème in District Six” in April 2016. He was recently appointed as the new voice lecturer at Nelson Mandela University.

KZNPO (KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra)

Based in the city of Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is widely regarded as Africa’s premier orchestra. Consisting of 70 fulltime professional musicians who come from more than 20 countries, the Orchestra has, over the past 30 years, earned a reputation for excellence and innovation amongst South African orchestras. A strong vision of high artistic values combined with a comprehensive education and community engagement programme has been fostered by Mr Bongani Tembe, a Juilliard School graduate, who joined the Orchestra in 1994 at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy.

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