In 2018 and 2019, Cape Town Opera’s Chorus toured Europe with a programme of religious and spiritual songs called Grace Notes, which was performed to sold-out shows in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Cape Town. Inspired by that programme’s enormous popularity, CTO Chorus Master, Marvin Kernelle, has compiled a new one-hour showcase of uplifting African and African-American spirituals. Affording an opportunity to reflect on the current global crisis, it’s an evening of soul-stirring music that celebrates the spirit of caring, resilience and joy that has buoyed humanity during a difficult year. ‘We wish this concert to be a reminder of the vital role music plays in healing our world,’ says Chorus Master Kernelle of the programme which includes traditional songs such as ‘Muhona Makutu Tanga’ and ‘Mahlo A Bona’ and rich arrangements of ‘Elijah Rock’, ‘Ev’ry Time I Feel The Spirit’ and ‘Didn’t My Lawd Deliver Daniel?’
The programme was compiled by Marvin Kernelle and all the soloists are part of the Cape Town Opera Chorus
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Winners of the 2013 International Opera Awards ‘Chorus of the Year’, the Cape Town Opera Chorus quickly emerged as one of the most compelling and varied opera choruses in the world. Under the tutelage of chorus master Marvin Kernelle, they perform an extensive repertoire in various genres from opera and traditional hymns to jazz and spirituals. They’re known for their versatility, vibrant performances, and powerful voices. CTO’s chorus regularly receives spontaneous accolades and these include from Placido Domingo (when he heard them perform in Madrid in 2015 in Porgy and Bess), the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and artist William Kentridge. They also receive high praise from guest conductors and directors visiting South Africa to collaborate in the staging of CTO productions.
The chorus maintains a busy schedule, performing in CTO’s local operas and concerts as well as in the company’s acclaimed international touring productions. These include Porgy and Bess, Mandela Trilogy, African Angels, African Passion, and Grace Notes. These productions have enjoyed repeat performances in Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, The Netherlands, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, the UK, Argentina, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
“The South African voice is unique, rich with colour and strength and it represents this country’s best qualities. Cape Town Opera nurtures that voice, providing opportunities for a wealth of talent. Cape Town Opera gives to audiences – both at home and abroad – the opportunity to experience that wonderful South African sound, what a gift!”
– Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu