Top UK opera star Bryn Terfel will be bringing his bass-baritone voice to South African shores next month.
The Welshman, who will be accompanied by South African pianist Nina Schumann, will give three performances – in Johannesburg on Tuesday, May 6, Durban, on Friday 9 May and in Pretoria on Sunday 11 May. Two programmes will be available: a popular programme that includes pieces by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Schubert and Mozart, and Celtic songs; and the more serious event in the capital city, which will see Terfel performing songs on poems by John Masefield, pieces from composers Schumann and Schubert and, again, traditional songs from the Celtic isles. Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses of the world, and is known for his versatility as a concert performer, with highlights ranging from the opening ceremony of the Wales Millennium Centre, BBC Last Night of the Proms, and the Royal Variety Show to a gala concert with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, New York.
He has given recitals in the major cities of the world and for nine years hosted his own festival in Faenol, North Wales. He is a Grammy, Classical Brit and Gramophone Award winner with a discography encompassing operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, and more than 10 solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory. In 2003, Bryn was made a CBE for services to Opera in the Queen’s New Year Honours list and in 2006 was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music. He is also the last recipient of the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg. Highlights in recent years include Bryn’s debut in the role of Hans Sachs in the critically acclaimed production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, his return to La Scala, Milan to open the 2011 season singing Leporello in Don Giovanni and Scarpia in Tosca. His new album with the Mormon Tabernacle choir was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2013.
Highlights in 2014 include semi-staged performances of Sweeney Todd at the Lincoln Center, New York and at the Llangollen International Music Festival, a concert tour of South Africa and a return to ROH, Covent Garden to sing the title role in Gounod’s Faust and Dulcamara in L’Elisir D’Amore. One of South Africa’s top pianists, Nina Schumann made her first appearance with an orchestra at the age of 15, and her talent captured the attention of the public when she won the Fifth National Music Competition for high school pupils in 1988. Numerous awards followed, and Schumann has over 140 concerto performances with orchestras in South Africa, Germany, Portugal, Scotland, Armenia and the US to her credit, and some 40 concertos in her repertoire.
In 1993 Schumann won the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition and was awarded the Jules Kramer and Harry Crossley Bursaries for Overseas Study by the University of Cape Town. After completing her MMus at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), Nina enrolled for the Doctorate of Music at the University of North Texas under the tutelage of Van Cliburn-winner, Vladimir Viardo. Following her appointment as Associate Professor and Head of Piano at the University of Stellenbosch in 1999, Nina transferred her Doctorate to UCT from which she graduated in 2005. Schumann is part of an internationally recognized duo with her husband, Luis Magalhaes and they own a record label, TwoPianists.
6 May: Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg.
8pm Tickets R550, R490 (popular programme)
9 May: Durban City Hall. 7.30pm. Tickets R420. R350 (popular programme) 11 May: ZK Matthews Hall, UNISA. 16:00 Tickets R550, R490 (serious programme)
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Durban City Hall, Durban KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Road Parktown Johannesburg Gauteng South Africa
ZK Matthews Hall, Unisa, Pretoria Gauteng South Africa