In celebration of life, Johan Botha, one of the world’s greatest tenors and a cancer survivor, will sing with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
He will sing in a concert of opera and operetta arias on August 13 at Artscape Opera at 20:00, joined by three of Cape Town’s favourite and most accomplished singers, Goitsemang Lehobye (soprano), Bongiwe Nakani (mezzo) and Mandla Mndebele (baritone), all semi-finalists in the recent 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. The CPO will be conducted by Bernhard Gueller.
Part of the proceeds of the concert will go to CANSA to promote awareness.
An all-Verdi first half will include Celeste Aïda (Botha), the duet from Don Carlo (Botha and Mndebele) and the quartet from Otello; the second half will comprise arias by Leoncavallo, Puccini, Mascagni and Léhar.
Botha, who has been a Kammersänger in Vienna since 2004, holding one of the most coveted positions in the opera world, is delighted to be back to sing in Cape Town “because I like to share my talent with my fellow South African singers and I love Cape Town and the rest of my country tremendously.”
The South African tenor studied in his native country and made his debut in Roodeport, before moving to Europe in 1990, where his international career was rapidly established following engagements in Germany. He sings in all the major opera houses from Berlin to the Metropolitan Opera, and his recordings include CDs of Aida, Elektra, the Verdi Requiem, Die Meistersinger, Lohengrin and Die Walküre.
Goitsemang Lehobye, who sang in Gauteng in a previous concert with Johan Botha, came second in the 2015 ATKV Musiquanto Competition and won first prize in both the Mimi Coertse and Schock singing competitions. She has performed in many operas both in Cape Town and Gauteng and in 2014 and 2015 was invited to sing in Helsinki.
With several prizes to her name, including 3rd prize in the 2015 Neue Stimmen International Competition in Germany, Bongiwe Nakani was most recently acclaimed in Cape Town Opera’s production of Maria Stuarda. She was also awarded a prize at the Deborah Voigt competition earlier this year.
Mandla Mndebele, winner of an engagement offered by Gauteng Opera at the recent Belvedere Opera, recently made his debut in Italy in Cape Town Opera’s The Mandela Trilogy, and will tour the United Kingdom in August and September with the CTO production which is accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bernhard Gueller, music director of Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada since 2004, has also been principal conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic, music director of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor in Cape Town as well as in Durban and was principal conductor of the JPO; he is known for his sympathetic accompaniment of singers such as Pretty Yende and Elsa van den Heever and violinists such as Joshua Bell and James Ehnes.
Booking for the concert is open now at Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695 and Computicket outlets countrywide.