IMIZWA (Feelings) is story told through art songs by a soprano and baritone who individually embody two contrasting characters in any given society. With the help of a narrator who drives the narrative through poetic interludes, the story is told in eight indigenous South African languages where each character (singer) expresses inner feelings about their upbringing and youthful years, as well as the challenges that come with adulthood and relationships. From the reminiscence of nostalgic childhood games, to the expression of undying love, and the heaviness and grief of losing a young child, IMIZWA takes the audience along in the interpretation and reflection of their own life’s experience.
STORY, LIBRETTO, COMPOSER & DIRECTOR – Mhlaba Buthelezi
SOPRANO – Nonhlanhla Mbatha
BARITONE – Luthando Madikizela
NARRATOR – Msindisi Nxumalo
PIANIST – Benny Mthethwa
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Mhlaba Buthelezi [B-Mus / M-Mus / PGCHE] is an arranger, composer, notator, performer, and producer. He predominantly composes African-Classical songs in indigenous languages where his melodic and harmonic style is entrenched in the particular ethnic culture of the chosen language. As an arranger and notator, Mhlaba possesses an authentic interpretation of the sounds as well as voices on offer where the overall aesthetic presentation takes precedence. As a performer, he has been a soloist in concert as well as on the opera stage working with renowned artists, conductors, directors, and orchestras in several countries including France, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States of America.
Composer and Music Director, Mhlaba Buthelezi (B-Mus, M-Mus, PGCHE) is a lecturer at the Department of Performing Arts – Arts and Design Faculty of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). A performer, music director, composer, and producer, Mhlaba is a creative artist who has penned over fifty songs from his own text and libretto. In the industry, he has worked with Jerry Pooe, Thuthuka Sibisi, Gregory Maqoma, Philip Miller, and William Kentridge. Mhlaba’s
creative approach in entrenched in the appreciation and interpretation of indigenous culture, tradition, and lifestyle which he depicts through tone, setting, and soundscape. Founder and Artistic Director of Luyandza Academy, Mhlaba facilitates artistic development / training and performing opportunities for performers and music practitioners.