In 2019 the Wakkerstroom Music Festival is celebrating the 160th birthday of Wakkerstroom, the jewel of Mpumalanga, with a jam-packed programme with 60 performances over the long weekend of 20-24 March 2019. The festival programme offers a wide variety which includes baroque, chamber and piano music, as well as classic‐jazz crossovers - guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning classical music lover’s demands.
This year’s festival kicks off with a not-to-be-missed Carmen in Concert performance by Sempre Opera. The passionate triangle of the world-wise gypsy woman, the jealous soldier who loses everything to love her and the toreador that will win her is one of the world's most loved operas. Bizet's masterpiece blends passion, seduction, jealousy and betrayal, all set to the most famous opera music ever composed. Its glorious score boasts a host of wonderful melodies, including Carmen's sensual Habanera and Seguidilla, Don José's tender Flower Aria and Escamillo's rousing Toreador's Song.
This concert version of Carmen features mezzo-soprano Linette van der Merwe in the title role as the enchanting gypsy, Stéfan Louw (tenor) in the role of the desperate young soldier, Deirdré Blignaut Rautenbach as the adoring village girl Micaëla, and Danie Verster (baritone) as the swaggering bullfighter Escamillo. Carmen’s gypsy friends will be sung by Marilize Hattingh (soprano), Riana van Vollenhoven (mezzo-soprano), Chris Mostert (tenor) and Walter Fourie (tenor). The cast will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble led by Schalk van der Merwe, one of South Africa’s ambitious, upcoming conductors. The opera will be sung in French with English supertitles and a narrator will ensure that the audience experience the whole story.
There will be two Carmen in Concert performances at the WMF – the festival opens on Wednesday 21 March at 19:30 with the first performance and the second takes place on Friday 22 March at 20:00. Both performances will be in the Wakkerstroom’s historic DR Church. For more info please visit www.wmfestival.co.za, WMF’s Facebook page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The programme will be available from the end of January 2019 and ticket sales will open 20 February 2019.