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Sunday, August 23, 2009


Choir enchants a capacity audience. (Review by Lynne Goodman)

The KZN Youth Choir enchanted a capacity audience last Sunday at the UKZN Opera School’s Jubilee Hall, when they performed excerpts from their hugely successful award-winning appearance at the International Cecilia Seghizzi Competition in Italy last month.

Under the expert and dedicated baton of Gerard du Toit, the singers showed their versatility in a range from Ave Marias through jazz to jungle sounds. Their grunts, whispers and finger clicks were every bit as spine-tingling as their fortissimo crescendos.

The harmoniously mixed race group was as much at home in Latin American rhythms as in Afro indigenous songs, which were arranged with subtlety and skill and performed with artistic gusto. Seldom has youthful vitality been harnessed with such finesse. Their commitment was as captivating as their vocalising. They sang with their eyes and their whole hearts and when they left the stage after yet another encore, they stopped to greet, embrace or shake hands with strangers in the audience so warmly that they left more than a few happy tears in their wake.

Clearly this is the sort of thing that happened at the prestigious choir contest in Gorizia, where the singers not only won two Premium Gold awards in the jazz and folklore sections, but they got the public vote for the most popular choir. They also received a standing ovation - as they did in Durban.

Their matinee concert, officially tagged the Vice Chancellor’s Performance, seemed to attract mainly family members and academics in the know. But there is a chance for the public at large to hear this blissful group of choristers when they hope to perform a fundraiser at the Barnyard Theatre next month. - Lynne Goodman