Sunday, September 27, 2009

A concert review!

It's a long time since I wrote a concert review, no? (And what, by the way, is happening with blogger that my posts don't appear?).

So last night I went to the Maitisong to listen to the Sedibeng Choral Society - I had heard them in rehearsal last Monday, nearly a week ago, and thought they sounded good.

The Maitisong was about half...full, with few expatriates (code for 'whites') to be seen. The programme consisted of a classical half and a Setswana half. For the classical half the ladies appeared wearing lime-green dresses and the guys were wearing snow white. A stunning appearance! During the first half a number of choir members also sang solos. Particularly impressive was Oteng Zachariah with Bernstein's 'Lucky to be me', sung like a cheeky chappy - with really wonderful singing, acting and a bit of dancing. The Gluck and Mozart arias plus choir had their moments, not least from the pianist (must be hard to find a decent pianist here; the 'orchestral' transcriptions not only seemed to be sparse, but also often wandered off into unexpected directions, for those of us who knew the pieces). Interpretations were a little unexpected at times, as well, but interesting. Refilwe Ramogetsi, who sang 'Let love be triumphant', from the Orfeo, a tiny bit unsteadily, but she tried hard, reminded me so much of the Orfeo I have seen in Vilnius many times. Later Tshenolo Segokgo was wonderful in Bizet's Habanera (though is it really a soprano aria?), kind of like Westside Story in Spain. Very sexy!

The second half was quite different, and amazing. This was a collection of Setswana songs, including weddings, and funerals and daily work songs. Here the choir wore normal clothes, and went about their business, singing and dancing. The theme was 'how beautiful is Botswana' - it would do well as a tourist attraction or for selling Botswana world wide. Particularly moving was the funeral song, preceeded by an announcement of the HIV/AIDS statistic - the song was harrowing - it expressed so much pain! A young guy did a dance act involving a medicine man, and at the end lead the whole troupe out of the hall, singing. It was fabulous!


vytautas said...

Hi Viola in Vilnius,I am Vytautas Lukocius in Mexico. Last Sunday was the final round for 4 Eduardo Mata conducting competition Mexico city, I had good luck to become a winner. how are you? I try to get back to Lithuania. Chears