The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra warmly invites romantics and music-lovers of all ages to unite in celebrating the season of love at a special Valentines Concert in the Durban City Hall on Saturday 14 February.
Hosting a stellar roster of illustrious guest artists, headed by the internationally feted violinist Suzanne Hou, the KZN Philharmonic, ‘Africa’s Premier Orchestra’, is set to enchant its audience with a fragrant bouquet of musical delights, themed around the power of love. The concert will be presented by popular East Coast DJ, Damon Beard, and television personality and actress, Jailoshini Naidoo.
With American maestro Daniel Boico on the podium, the evening’s programme opens with the famous Wedding March from Wagner’s Lohengrin, before the audience welcomes the celebrity lyric soprano, Linda Bukhosini, onstage to sing one of the loveliest and most touching of all operatic arias, O mio babbino caro, from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
Superstar violinist Suzanne Hou (pictured) then takes centrestage for a rarely-heard performance of The Butterfly Lovers Concerto. Penned by Chinese composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, this delicately-textured work combines Western classical style with traditional Chinese folk music to evoke an ancient tale of two young lovers.
Returning to the stage to sing much-loved highlights from Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway classic West Side Story, Linda Bukhosini teams with tenor Clint Lesch, who won all hearts as Tony in The Playhouse Company’s staging of the musical in 2013, bringing the first half of the programme to a close with their renderings of I Feel Pretty, Maria, and Tonight Tonight.
After interval, the KZN Philharmonic continues its exploration of love themes with a selection of rapturous excerpts from that most romantic of all classical ballets, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, before Suzanne Hou brings her unique magic to the achingly beautiful Adagio from Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor.
The evening’s tempo slips into upbeat mode as the rising young Cape Town-based jazz vocalist Amy Walton joins the Orchestra for fresh renditions of Rodgers and Hart’s My Funny Valentine and the evergreen standard, My Baby Just Cares For Me. Clint Letch then joins Amy onstage to sing the ravishing duet All I Ask of You from Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Phantom of The Opera.
Moving onwards and up, the KZN Philharmonic lets rip with that unfailing party-time crowd-pleaser, St Louis Blues, paving the way for popular vocalist Loyiso Bala’s impassioned interpretation of Seal’s hit single, Kiss of a Rose, after which Linda Bukhosini returns to the stage to join Loyiso for their delicious take on the George Gershwin standard, I’ve got a Crush on You.
Finally, big-league sax whizz Andrew Young, a longstanding audience favourite, joins forces with his former orchestral colleagues to deliver a superb coupling of those two all-time jazz favourites, Georgia On My Mind and Sweet Georgia Brown.
Experience this highpoint on Durban’s 2015 music calendar! Book now for the KZN Philarmonic’s 14 February Valentines Concert celebration which starts at 19h30. Tickets range from R150 to R350 (orchestra subscribers qualify for 25%). Call Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com. To become a KZN Philharmonic subscriber and benefit from discounted rates to the star-studded six-concert Summer Season, which runs in the Durban City Hall from 19 February to 26 March, call 031-369 9438. For full programme details, visit www.kznphil.rog.za