KZN’s High Summer entertainment roster this season is rich in options for theatre goers and music lovers alike.
The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Season of symphony concerts runs in the Durban City Hall every Thursday between 13 February and 5 March, each concert starting at 19h30. The Japanese conductor Yasuo Shinozaki launches the season on 13 February with two concert staples by Brahms, the Tragic Overture and the Fourth Symphony, which frame Rachmaninov’s iconic Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, played by the leading SA concert pianist, Francois du Toit.
On 20 February, American conductor William Eddins shares the spotlight with two guest soloists, the Montenegrin guitarist Goran Krivokapić and the gifted young South African soprano, Zandile Mzazi, who join the orchestra in performing a richly curated programme of concert bon-bons by Berlioz, Rodrigo, Mascagni, Massenet, Khachaturian, Delibes and Tchaikovsky.
Japanese maestro Shinozaki returns for the third concert of the season on 27 February, when Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and his magnificent Emperor Concerto, played by German pianist Jan Jiracek von Arnim, can be heard in the first half of the evening, followed by a performance of Dvorák’s immensely rewarding Symphony No 7.
The Netherlands born conductor Arjan Tien makes a popular return to round off the season on 5 March, with two more Beethoven favourites, the Leonore Overture No 1 and the Triple Concerto, played by pianist, Malcolm Nay, violinist Tai Murray and cellist Aristide du Plessis. The evening closes with a performance of Bizet’s delightful Symphony in C.
Season tickets for the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2020 Summer Season are available through Computicket.
And on the chamber music front, concert goers are advised of three exciting events presented by Friends of Music at the Durban Jewish Centre. On 11 February at 19h30, The Opera Angels, a dynamic duo featuring pianist and soprano Dr Lisa Engelbrecht and mezzo soprano Lindsay Thomson perform extracts from operas, and musical theatre medleys and some surprising arrangements of popular favourites. On 25 February at 19h30, pianist Nina Watson and members of the Quattro Femmes String Quartet: Petya Koleva (Violin); Jane Baillie-Magner (Violin); Annamaria D’Andrea (Viola); Marguerite Spies (Cello) perform works by Antonin Dvořák, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Robert Schumann. Sunday 14th March (15h00) sees the Baroque group Suite 415 (Baroque Group) in action. This features some of the province’s most accomplished classical musicians: Margit Deppe (Baroque Oboe); Aristide du Plessis (Baroque Cello), David Smith (Harpsichord) and Evelien Ballantine (Baroque Flute / Traverso) in a programme of music by Telemann; Locatelli, JS Bach Sammartini .
Presented by the Playhouse Company, this season’s live shows include two important schools education projects geared to impart life awareness for learners. Sizwe’s Triumph over Sumdanger, which tours between 3 and 14 February, focuses on the scourge of bullying in schools. Notebook, a dance production running from 2 to 28 February, highlights the evils of substance abuse, as it uncovers the story of a recovering alcoholic and the harrowing journey from where it all began – the very first drink. Also running at The Playhouse, following longstanding tradition, Durban’s annual Passion Play, which tells of the last days of Jesus Christ, can be seen from 24 to 31 March.
And for suburban theatre goers, The ever fecund Rhumbelow chain is typically generous in its choice of live entertainment, to be seen at its popular venues in Umbilo, Kloof and Pietermaritzburg. Titles to conjure with, among a host of others, include: Diva Lost Vegas, starring Lisa Bobbert and Marion Loudon, at Tina’s from 7 to 9 February; Not Famous starring Jem Atkins in a solo comedy show in Pietermartizburg on 8 February; and in the same venue on 9 February, Marico Moon, an evening of Herman Charles Bosman storytelling performed by Barbie Meyer. For the full range of Rhumbelow shows on offer, log onto email@example.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And a special treat for comedy lovers, MacBob Productions present their latest musical comedy romp, Family Therapy, at the Elizabeth Sneddon theatre on the Durban campus of UKZN, from 2 to 15 March. Join Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert as they take a wild dive into the world of the family and investigate what makes them tick or explode. These comedic legends boldly go where billions have been before and hilariously investigate the dos and don’ts of living together in this strange arrangement we call family. Family Therapy guarantees to have you and your loved ones singing along and screaming with laughter not yelling at each other. Directed and choreographed by comedy ace, Daisy Spencer, Family Therapy is set to delight! So don’t delay! Get booking through Computicket!