Cape Town’s foremost baroque music ensemble, CamerataTintaBarocca (CTB), launched the Cape Town Baroque Festival on Wednesday, 22 February 2017. The first festival will be held in September this year, and CTB plans to present it annually.
Baroque musicians from across South Africa have been invited to perform at the 2017 festival, which will feature works by 17th– and 18th-century composers. The festival will be held mainly at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Green Point, Cape Town, which has been CTB’s home for a number of years.
CTB Artistic Director and harpsichordist, Erik Dippenaar, says the time is ripe for Cape Town to have its own festival of baroque music. “Over the past five years great strides have been made in South Africa in the field of historical performance and Early Music.Although Cape Town is currently the hub of Early Music in South Africa, there are quite a few practitioners of Early Music elsewhere in the country.
“We feel the time is ripe to have a celebration of baroque music in the form of this four-day long festival. With the festival, we aim to bring together early musicians from across the countryin order to build a tightly knit historical performance community. This type of creative exchange is very valuable and necessary in this field,” says Dippenaar, who has been CTB’s Artistic Director since July 2015.
He says he is especially excited about the first collaboration between CTB and the Durban-based ensemble Baroque 2000. “In many ways Baroque 2000 is the sister ensemble of CTB, and we are the only two ensembles in South Africa that perform 18th-century orchestral music on a regular basis.
In keeping with CTB’s aim of presenting programmes that feature both works by well-known and lesser-known composers, the Cape Town Baroque Festival will also showcase favourite works from the baroque period, as well as explore the wealth of music by 17th– and 18th-century composers that is not often performed here. The festival programme will also feature an array of orchestral and chamber music, secular and church music,as well as instrumental and vocal music.
Highlights of the festival include a baroque opera gala concert, with among others soprano Lynelle Kenned, tenor Sandile Mabaso, the Cape Town Chamber Choir and CTB. A concert of choral works with the choir Vox Cape Town and CTB is also on the programme, while a chamber music concert with members of Baroque 2000 and a church music programme by the local Cape Consort will also be presented.
Besides music concerts, architect John Rennie will present an architectural walking tour through Cape Town’s city centre in which some historic buildings can be seen. Another fun event on the programme is mezzo soprano Monika Voysey and Chef Marc Wassung who will present an afternoon of food and music in a programme titled Sing (baroque) for you Supper.
“With the annual Cape Town Baroque Festival we will most certainly build a new love of Early Music and create a community of audience members who all share an interest in this repertoire. But it’s also an opportunity for early musicians from across the country – and possibly from across the world – to come together in Cape Town and share in the joy of making baroque music,” says Dippenaar.
The Cape Town Baroque Festival will be held from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September 2017. More information – concert schedules, venues and tickets – will be announced at a later date when the full programme has been finalised.