On Thursday 14 April 2015 I attended a concert at the Linder Auditorium.
On the podium was one of my heroes, Kutlwano Masote. Masote is from a musical dynasty, a cellist and conductor. His father is a fine musician who has, inter alia, translated The Messiah into ten local languages. His son is a fine violinist.
Pretty Yende, the soprano, is sought after by all the opera houses of the world. She performs regularly at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. She has an amazing voice and she can act. She is easy on the eye as well.
Levy Strauss Sekgapane is South Africa’s newest singing wonder. Just twenty five years old this tenor is winning lots of international singing competitions. Based in Germany, he is humble and funny and charming on stage. He is definitely a rising star.
I loved the entire concert. It was, however, the mad scene from Lucia that captured my attention. I was telling someone about it the next day and I got gooseflesh just from the recollection. Before the music started the look on Yende’s face was that of a deer caught in headlights. As the scene progressed the madness in her face and stance grew. It was never grotesque. I wanted to rush up and protect her. It was a very visceral experience.
One other item on the programme needs mentioning, the medication from Thais, with our concert master, Miro Chakaryan, as the soloist.
For every person in South Africa who is in his or her position because they are friends or family of Zuma, there is another who is doing South Africa proud because of his or her own talent and extremely hard work. I am so proud of Pretty Yende, Levy Strauss Sekgapane, Kutlwano Masote and every musician on the stage. They are there because they deserve to be there. The audience response was proof of that.
In the immortal words of Abba, “Thank you for the music”.