The inaugural Cape Town Baroque Festival will be held from Thursday September 21 to Sunday September 24, at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Green Point.
Presented by baroque music ensemble Camerata Tinta Barocca (CTB), the festival consists of seven events.
Concerts will feature works by 17th and and 18th century composers, performed by baroque specialists.
It kicks off with a gala concert of music from baroque operas on Thursday September 21, at 8pm.
Soprano Lynelle Kenned will be joined by soprano Elsabé Richter, tenor Sandile Mabaso, and bass-baritone Bongani Kubheka as soloists, along with the Cape Town Chamber Choir and CTB. They will be led by harpsichordist Erik Dippenaar, who is also the festival director and director of CTB.
This gala concert will feature music from GF Handel’s most popular operas, Alcina, Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare and Semele, as well as music from Les Indes Galante by Rameau, King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, Venus and Adonis by Blow, and La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi.
Tickets for the gala concert cost R180 or R150 for students and pensioners.
“Baroque opera is seldom performed in South Africa, and with this gala concert we want to showcase some of the brilliant operatic music from the period. We are honoured to have these four soloists, because they are not only exciting and expressive artists, but also have experience with this repertoire,” says Dippenaar.
On Friday September 22, at 8pm, the Durban-based Baroque2000 will play music by Uccelini, Merula, Geminiani, Barsanti, Vivaldi and Boyce. Violinists Ralitza Macheva and Refiloe Olifant, and cellist Cecilia di Cecco will be joined on stage by Dippenaar on the harpsichord. Tickets cost R120 or R95 for students and pensioners.
Sonatas and Rondos by Haydn, JC Bach and CPE Bach are on the programme of a performance by John Coulter (fortepiano) on Saturday September 23, at 1pm. He will play on a copy of a Stein fortepiano dated 1780, and the programme covers broad styles from the luminous Galante of JC Bach, to the early Romantic in the highly personal style of CPE Bach. Tickets cost R120 or R95 for students and pensioners.
An interesting feature of the Cape Town Baroque Festival is a walking tour presented by the heritage architect John Rennie on Saturday September 23, at 2.30pm. The tour will include historic buildings in Cape Town’s city centre, among others the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the Strand Street Evangelical Lutheran Church, and mosques in the De Waterkant area. The walking tour costs R60.
The Vox Cape Town Choir will be on stage on Saturday September 23, at 8pm. This concert features soprano Elsabé Richter and CTB under the direction of Dippenaar. The programme consists of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Eine kleine Nachtmusik, as well as Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo. Tickets cost R120 or R95 for students and pensioners.
On Sunday September 24, at 11.30am, the Cape Consort, under direction of baroque cellist Hans Huyssen, presents a concert in which the ensemble continues its exploration of the musical interactions within the Bach family. The programme consists of music by Johann, Michael, Christoph and Sebastian Bach. Tickets cost R120 or R95 for students and pensioners.
The festival ends on Sunday September 24, at 1pm, with a lunch, presented by Sing for Your Supper – the husband-and-wife team of mezzo-soprano Monika Voysey and Chef Marc Wassung. Especially for the festival, they will present Sing for Your Supper goes Baroque.
Marc will prepare a two-course lunch, while Monika, Nick de Jager (tenor) and Dippenaar (harpsichord) will provide the music. Tickets cost R280 or R260 for students and pensioners.
“We are looking forward to an exciting festival of baroque music by South Africa’s foremost musicians. The festival’s aim is indeed to bring together early musicians from across the country – a valuable creative exchange that is necessary in our field of music. This festival will hopefully become a regular feature in the Cape Town classical music landscape,” says Dippenaar.
Tickets for the concerts are available from Computicket, except for Sing for Your Supper goes Baroque, which can be booked online at www.singforyoursupper.co.za/events.
A festival pass at a discounted rate costs R600 or R540 for students and pensioners and can be booked at email@example.com. This does not include Sing for Your Supper.
For more information, visit www.ctbaroque.co.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org.