A Grand Night for Singing: A Musical Celebration

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The Dean’s Concert brings a grand night of performance and financial aid to FADA students.

Dean's Concert. © Suzy Bernstein.
Dean’s Concert. © Suzy Bernstein.

Join us for a spectacular evening of opera and song, as UJ Arts & Culture presents ‘A Grand Night for Singing’. This much anticipated annual event takes place on Saturday 7 September at 19:30. All proceeds are in aid of the Dean’s bursary fund. The Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, baritone Federico Freschi, is joined on stage by internationally acclaimed pianist Christopher Duigan, soprano Lynelle Kenned, mezzo-soprano Violina Anguelov-Hobbs and the renowned UJ Choir.

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Now in its fourth season, A Grand Night for Singing is a gala event to raise funds for the Dean’s Bursary Fund established by Professor Federico Freschi, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA). The Fund provides financial assistance to academically deserving, but financially needy students in FADA.

The renowned UJ Choir, as well as members of the Joburg Ballet, will add to the magic of the musical programme curated by Christopher Duigan The UJ Choir is now world champions, after taking gold in both its categories (Mixed Choirs Western music repertoire and Folk Music A Cappella) at the World Choir Games 2018. UJ Choir highlights the combination of talent and resilience found in students who are driven by their passion for excellence.

Pianist Christopher Duigan is Widely regarded as one of South Africa’s leading concert pianists and has been recognised as a ‘South African piano icon’ and ‘national musical treasure’ (Classic Feel June 2009). He has performed extensively with all leading South African orchestras in a repertoire of more than 25 works for piano and orchestra. Recent major performances include those in Barcelona and at the Latimer Music Festival in England.

Soprano Lynelle Kenned and mezzo-soprano Violina Anguelov-Hobbs join Freschi adding their magnificent voices to this splendid performance.

After completing postgraduate studies in History of Art, baritone Federico Freschi studied towards a Performer’s Diploma in Opera at the UCT College of Music. He subsequently sang with the CAPAB Singers’ Studio, appearing in several operas, operettas and musicals. Following a period as an associate professor in History of Art at the University of the Witwatersrand and Director of the Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, in January 2013 he was appointed a full professor in, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. He maintains a regular concert schedule in collaboration with Christopher Duigan.

Recipient of the KKNK Kunste Onbeperk Young Voice 2019, UCT Opera School graduate Lynelle Kenned is no stranger to the stage. For her portrayal of Maria in “West Side Story” in 2015, she was awarded a Fleur du Cap Award, and the Naledi Award for reprising the role at the Joburg Theatre in 2017. Lynelle is a well-known media personality and TV Presenter after bursting onto the scene as the runner-up in the Top Billing Presenter Search in 2012. Memorable stage highlights include performing with Welsh crossover superstar Katherine Jenkins, and receiving masterclasses with Juilliard’s Brian Zeger.

Bulgarian-born Violina Anguelov-Hobbs made her South African operatic début as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro with the Cape Town Opera in 1999. Anguelov-Hobbs has performed over 30 leading operatic roles in a multitude of highly acclaimed performances in South Africa, Germany, Bulgaria, Australian and Sweden and has been awarded the Adcock Ingram Music Prize, the Leonard Hall Memorial Prize and Erik Chisholm Prize.

The Dean’s Concert takes place at the UJ Arts Centre on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park. Attendance at the performance is free, but donations to the FADA Executive Dean’s Bursary Fund are encouraged. Booking is essential via www.uj.ac.za/arts or at the door. For more information contact Lakin Morgan-Baatjies lakinmb@uj.ac.za 011559 2690

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