A singing chameleon that was born to perform

A singing chameleon that was born to perform

Peter Tromp caught up with popular performer NIËL RADEMAN, who also doubles as CEO of the Suidoosterfees, on the eve of a busy season of shows.

When did you first realise you wanted to become a performer and how did you get your start in showbiz?
I was four years old. I sat in my mother’s bathroom watching her doing her makeup. She is an attractive woman with a lot of theatrical poise. I just knew…At the age of 10 my father bought me a piano and the rest is history.

What are a few of your personal highlights from your career?
Singing on the West End in productions with Pumeza Matshikiza, Pauline Malefane, Minette du Toit-Pearce, Kurt Haupt and a lot of other fabulous artists. I sang the National Anthem for the opening of the Green Point Stadium. I got a standing ovation in Vienna for a modern Afrikaans Art song cycle that I sing. The person that lead the ovation was the world famous singer, the late Kamerzinger Johan Botha.

Who/what are some of your chief inspirations/influences?
I loved the charisma of Carlos Gardel, the performance style of Jacques Brel and the voice of Placido Domingo.

How would you describe your performance style/discipline?
I sing cabaret, musical, operetta and classical music – I am the singing chameleon. I can sing almost any genre.

Please share something about yourself that people might be surprised to know.
I attended an all boys Agricultural School, Oakdale, in Riversdale (Southern Cape) until matric. And I loved it!

“Last night a show changed my life…”
I saw ‘The Well Being’ with Andrew Buckland at the Grahamstown festival 15 years ago. I could not stop crying for an hour afterwards.

What gigs do you have coming up, and where can people book?
I have an agreement with my board of directors at the Suidoosterfees to keep my eyes on the ball while I am allowed to do some exclusive appearances:
I am directing ‘Shirt of Fire’, a mono Opera by Hendrik Hofmeyr with soprano Jolene McCleland, (text by Sheila Cussons) on November 21 at 7pm at the CTICC. (Book at Computicket.)
I’m also singing in ‘The Waltz King’ on December 2, at 7pm, at Spier. (Bookings also through Computicket.)

The “singing CEO of the Suidoosterfees” will also be performing with pianist Elna van der Merwe in ‘Morning Melodies’ – highlights from the musicals – at The Baxter Theatre on November 23 at 10.30am. Book at Computicket.