The inaugural Cape Town Baroque Festival – presented by the city’s foremost baroque music ensemble, Camerata Tinta Barocca (CTB) – will feature some of the country’s top musicians. The festival, consisting of seven events,will be held from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September,mainly at the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Green Point, Cape Town.
The festival concerts will feature works by 17th– and 18th-century composers, performed by baroque specialists.
It kicks off with a gala concert of music from baroque operas on Thursday, 21 September at 20:00. In this concert,popular soprano and television presenter Lynelle Kenned is 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.
“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, 22 September at 20:00, the Durban-based Baroque2000 will play music by Uccelini, Merula, Geminiani, Barsanti, Vivaldi and Boyce. Violinists Ralitza Macheva and Refiloe Olifant, cellist Cecilia di Cecco will be joined on stage by Dippenaar on the harpsichord.
Sonatas and Rondos by Haydn, JC Bach and CPE Bach are on the programme of a performance by John Coulter (fortepiano) on Saturday, 23 September at 13:00. 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.
An interesting feature of the Cape Town Baroque Festival is a walking tour presented by the heritage architect John Rennie on Saturday, 23 September at 14:30. 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 popular Vox Cape Town Choir will be on stage on Saturday, 23 September at 20:00. This concert features soprano Elsabé Richter and CTB under the direction of Dippenaar. The programme consists of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Einekleine Nachtmusik, as well as Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo.
On Sunday, 24 September at 11:30, 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 – music from a family of composers.
The festival ends on Sunday, 24 September at 13:00 with a lavish 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. Bookings for this event can be done online at www.singforyoursupper.co.za/events.
“We are looking forward to an exciting festivalof 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 singforyoursupper.co.za/events.
- A festival pass at a discounted rate per concert can be booked at email@example.com.
For more information, visit https://ctbaroque.co.za/ or follow Camerata Tinta Barocca on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/4608599819/), the Cape Town Baroque Festival on Twitter and Instagram, or email firstname.lastname@example.org