The dust had not yet settled for the extraordinary Cape Town Opera Chorus after their much lauded performance in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice. The day after the final curtain, the singers boarded a flight to Germany to participate in two prestigious concerts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (hr-sinfonieorchester) on 12 and 13 September 2019 in the Alte Oper Concert Hall.
Two of George Gershwin’s most popular works are included in the American programme presented by the orchestra to celebrate its 90th season, namely An American in Paris and Robert Russell Bennett’s 40-minute arrangement of Porgy and Bess highlights. The CTO Chorus has travelled thousands of miles to present evergreen arias such as O Lawd I’m on my way, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Where is brother Robbins and many others to new audiences in Frankfurt.
Cape Town Opera’s Porgy and Bess has a stellar reputation in many countries around the world and the Chorus, under the masterful hand of Chorus Master Marvin Kernelle, plays no small part in the Company’s soulful rendition of this Gershwin hit. CTO’s 18 international “Porgy” tours to date has created exposure for its singers to the expectations of an international audience, while satisfying the discerning palate of opera aficionados who appreciate its well-executed authenticity. Tom Service of The Guardian in the United Kingdom could not refrain from resorting to excess: “South Africa could rescue opera… returning it to the passion, humanity, and personality that inspired the great operas in the first place.” A daunting responsibility. His colleague at The Telegraph’s comment was also appreciated: “The vibrancy and quality of the choral singing is inspiring throughout.”
On this occasion, American soprano Adina Aaron will sing Bess, while SA’s very own bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana will give life to Porgy, a role he will also perform for the Washington National Opera, Atlanta Opera and Grange Park Opera this season and in 2020.
The concert on 13 September 2019 will be streamed live on www.hr-sinfonieorchester.de from 20:00, with Colombian-Austrian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada on the podium for both concerts.