A symphony of opera magic was hosted in the heart of Boksburg at St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls’ Opera Gala.
This event was held at the school recently and was a night to remember.
The East Rand Youth Orchestra was conducted by Pienaar Fourie.
The orchestra was started in 1978 to serve the community of the East Rand. Besides serving the East Rand by playing for previously disadvantage communities and at many functions, it performed for the Ekurhuleni metro at many special functions including the opening of a terminal at O R Tambo Airport.
The orchestra’s repertoire is wide, from Bach to the Beatles, and these talented musicians also showcased Mozart and Verdi.
Pianist Tessa Olivier was also part of the programme. Olivier is a freelance music teacher and is a violist in various ensembles and orchestras.
Along with the St Dominic’s choir, who looked stunning on stage in their formal choir uniform, mastering difficult music and entertaining the guests with their choral talents, there were four soloists who formed part of the programme.
Samantha Thomas, soprano, sang a solo during the programme as well as in Verdi’s Saper Vorreste.
Thomas, hailing from Benoni, has been performing in Barnyard theatres since she was 14 and is currently completing her BMus degree at the University of Witwatersrand.
Leigh Waters-Maine, also a soprano, is a highly talented singer currently studying at the University of Rhodes towards a Bachelors of Music degree and is a former music student at Gauteng Opera. Waters-Maine sang the solo in Scarlatti’s Gia il sole dal Gange during the programme.
Tenor soloist, Johannes Moaisi, completed his Btech in Vocal Art at TUT and during the gala performed the solo of Verdi’s De miei bollenti spiriti.
Neville Smith, head of Music Department at St Dominic’s School for Girls was also a star on the stage and is a talented opera singer. Smith has sung in numerous international singing competitions.
He has been an opera singer for the past 13 years and is now sharing his skills and talent with his students.
“It is important for the community to be exposed to this wonderful art form. This will give the children an opportunity to realise there is more out there than just pop music, so it is our intention to preserve the beautiful art of opera,” said Smith.