Gala Concerts – Vernissage & Finissage

The Gala Vernissage (preview) of the WMF 2024 promises an evening of musical enchantment and diversity, offering a kaleidoscope of genres and styles to captivate audiences. The programme commences with Vaughn-Williams’ evocative rendition of Shakespeare’s “It Was a Lover and His Lass,” setting a romantic tone for the evening. From the fiery intensity of Schumann’s “Fantasy Pieces” performed by Naledi Dweba and Annika Burke to the comedic charm of Strauss II’s “Mein Herr Marquis” sung in Afrikaans by Michelle Veenemans, Miro Chakaryan, and Rudolf Geldenhuis, each performance showcases the depth and versatility of the artists. The programme also features exhilarating showcases such as Vivaldi’s dynamic “Allegro from Concerto in g-minor” performed by Maren du Plessis, Carel Henn, and Kerryn Wisniewski, and Chick Corea’s iconic “Spain alla Jazz Cocktail” in a proudly South African arrangement by Lizanne Barnard, Wanda Zonke, and Tyrone Hinrichsen. The evening culminates in a triumphant crescendo with Verdi’s timeless “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici,” a celebration of life and camaraderie performed by a stellar ensemble of vocalists accompanied by Eugene Joubert on piano. Interwoven with classics like Debussy’s “Clair de lune” and contemporary gems like Malavazi’s “Romanza,” the Gala Vernissage promises an unforgettable exploration of musical expression and emotion, leaving audiences eager for what lies ahead in the weekend’s programme.
The Gala Finissage (closing) of the WMF 2024 offers a captivating conclusion to the weekend’s festivities, featuring a diverse array of musical selections spanning genres and eras. The programme opens with the tender duet “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from Gershwin’s iconic opera Porgy and Bess, performed with heartfelt emotion by Loveline Madumo and Thabang Senekal. From the romantic allure of “Parla piu Piano” from The Godfather, performed by Jean du Plessis and Sonja van Zyl, to the comedic charm of Léhar’s “Da geh Ich zu Maxim” presented by Christiaan Bester and Eugene Joubert, each performance invites listeners into a world of musical storytelling and expression. Highlights of the evening include Melissa Witbooi and Nathalie Roué’s dynamic interpretation of Paganini’s “Centone di sonate for Violin and Guitar,” showcasing virtuosic skill and intricate musical dialogue, and Loveline Madumo and Eugene Joubert’s captivating rendition of Pestalozza’s “Ciribiribin,” evoking the joy and enchantment of love through music. The programme also features Astor Piazzolla’s evocative “Bordel-1900 from Histoire du Tango,” transporting audiences to the sultry streets of Buenos Aires with Thinus Boshoff and André Oosthuizen’s mesmerizing performance. Closing the evening on a triumphant note is Verdi’s timeless “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici,” performed with vitality and passion by an ensemble of vocalists accompanied by Eugene Joubert on piano, inviting audiences to revel in the joy of life and music. Interwoven with classics like Offenbach’s “Barcarolle” and Mozart’s “La ci darem la mano,” as well as contemporary gems like Dvořák’s “Sonatina for Flute and Piano,” the Gala Finissage promises an enchanting musical journey that celebrates the richness and diversity of the human experience.