NVT JD BSUT DVMUV S F M J G F T U Z M F
JOSH GROBAN MARC CHAGALL SPUD, THE MOVIE 9
SA R29,95 - Dec/Jan 2011
His brand new album, Illuminations
Finds a home at the Constitutional Court
A beloved South African story hits the big screen
A FEAST FOR MUSIC LOVERS!
cover & music features
44 Cover image: Josh Groban - Illuminations Credit: Image courtesy of Warner Music Gallo Africa
44 South Africa’s musical ambassador Aside from being a highly inventive and versatile musician, Pops Mohamed is a cultural activist who has dedicated a large part of his career to the preservation of South Africa’s indigenous music heritage, and is the recipient of the 2010 ACT Lifetime Achiever Award for Music.
34 Josh Groban’s Illuminations November saw the release
56 EMI Classics – A record label on top of its game
of Josh Groban’s long-awaited fifth studio album, Illuminations. CLASSICFEEL sampled the tracks and looked into the production of the album, which shows the singer as he has never been heard before. Quite unlike his earlier work, Illuminations is characterised by greater intimacy, maturity and honesty
EMI Classics recently confirmed its place as one of the world’s most competitive classical labels by securing several prestigious awards and exclusive contracts with some of the world’s best classical musicians.
art culture lifestyle 60 74 74 Eric Bourret One could be forgiven for mistaking Eric
62 60 Memorable dance in a difficult year Despite all the Football World Cup™ hype and diminishing arts budgets South African dancers and choreographers still managed to make this a memorable year writes Adrienne Sichel.
40 The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards 2010 The ACT Awards are held annually in recognition and celebration of excellence in South African arts, culture and creativity. 42 The art of a lifetime Peter Clarke, the 2010 ACT Lifetime Achievement Award winner for Visual Arts 48 From theatre to storytelling Gcina Mhlophe, the 2010 ACT Lifetime Achievement Award winner for Theatre 64 ‘Activist’ is not a swear word Talking to Mike van Graan is like being allowed into a vast intellectual arena 66 Analysing Arts Alive A brief retrospective look at the 2010 event 68 Investing demystified Glacier by Sanlam demystifies investment with a simple, six-step portfolio building process 70 The Economics of Art I With interest in investing in art continuing to rise, auctioneers Stephan Welz & Co. recently hosted a panel discussion 72 Chagall comes to the Constitutional Court Three of Marc Chagall’s works were donated to the Constitutional Court’s art collection 76 In search of the Minotaur Nandipha Mntambo, Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts 80 Pongràcz Méthode Cap Classique with Norman Goodfellows 82 La Motte. Redefined. With the advent of summer there are exciting new developments at the La Motte estate 86 The essence of Viennese musical culture The annual Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert 88 The ‘Crazy 8’ invade the cinema The long-awaited film adaptation of one of South Africa’s best loved books, Spud
Bourret’s large, predominantly black and white images for works in charcoal – perhaps by Kentridge or Jackson Pollock – so textured and painting-like are his photographs.
regulars 6 Classic Print 8 News and Events 22 Cape Town Letter Capetonian Rodney Trudgeon keeps us up to date with developments in the ‘Mother City’ 24 Durban Smarts Caroline Smart brings you the latest cultural news and developments from Durban 32 On Stage Fiona Ramsay provides insight into Joburg’s theatrical highlights 54 Backstage with Tenor Musa Nkuna An insider’s look at the world of opera from our resident tenor 84 Victor Strugo on Food Le GastroGnome gives us his expert opinion on the finest food the country has to offer 93 Movie Reviews 94 Book, DVD and CD Reviews 104 Encore Mike van Graan, Executive Director of the African Arts Institute
Giveaways 9 EMI Classics CDs 16 A bottle of Krone Borealis Brut 2007
Classical 2011 CD
90 Spud and The Making of Spud, the Movie
Celebrating the year that was… and the one to come It is that time of the year again! The team has been feverishly preparing both the final issue of 2010 and the first issue of 2011. It is appropriate, in this transitional stage, that we look back at the year that was. Glancing at past issues, we are again amazed at the variety of cultural offerings that have been on offer in 2010. After much hype, the World Cup and all the events that surrounded it, came and went in a flurry of activity. Singling out personal highlights of the year is a little difficult for me – all the more so because space limitations force me to mention only one. I have had the privilege of experiencing many wonderful works of music, theatre and art this year. But of all of them, it was The Fugard’s production of Waiting for Godot, starring Sir Ian McKellen, that really had the most impact on me. Having seen the play numerous times before, I was held absolutely spellbound, as if seeing it for the first time. Now that’s theatre! It is also a time for looking ahead, and I can already see that it is going to be another challenge for us to make sure we choose the right performances, the right music, the best visual arts and the most interesting books and films to report back on. Since we first launched CLASSICFEEL, I am proud to say, we have managed to increase our readership every year. We are continuously looking for new ways to confirm CLASSICFEEL’s place as South Africa’s number one magazine for arts, culture and lifestyle. In order to constantly improve the quality and content of CLASSICFEEL, we need to keep up with the needs and desires of our readers. For this reason, we began conducting a reader survey online at www.classicfeel.co.za. We invite you to take the survey and let us know your thoughts. If you do so, you automatically stand a chance to win a copy of the John Lennon Signature Box set, which contains remastered editions of all of the great singer-songwriter’s solo work. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the trouble to answer our survey questions, helping us to make the magazine a better product. It is also the time of year when we wind down, close the office for the Christmas period and recharge our batteries with family and friends. My very best wishes are with you all for this special time and I wish you a wonderful festive season and all the very best for the year ahead.
EDITORIAL & PRODUCTION EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lore Watterson; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Chris Watterson; firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITOR Warren Holden; email@example.com FEATURE WRITER Natalie Watermeyer; firstname.lastname@example.org SUB-EDITOR AND STAFF WRITER Emily Amos; email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Luthuli Nyathi; firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGNERS Sizakele Shingange; email@example.com Leigh Raymond; firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Fiona Ramsay Caroline Smart Victor Strugo Rodney Trudgeon Musa Nkuna Adrienne Sichel Carrie Adams
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Hisham Ryklief, Sir Ian McKellen and Khathu Khangala in Waiting for Godot
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SAMRO Southern African Music Rights Organisation
Sir Ian McKellen as Estragon in Waiting for Godot
Congratulations to the winners of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award
2011 Bokani Dyer
Photograph: John Hogg
Photograph: Magriet Theron
Nandipha Mntambo Visual Art
Photograph: Val Adamson
Photograph: Georgio Sabino
For 26 years we have sponsored the Young Artist Awards at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Join us in congratulating the winners of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 2011. For more information, visit www.standardbankarts.co.za
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Give a Guitar
15 Years of Cape Dance
An initiative has been launched to put guitars Prince Mhlanga with Andy McGibbon into the hands of the underprivileged. The ‘Give a Guitar – Ignite a Life’ campaign aims to take people’s unused guitars and put them in the hands of musically-gifted disadvantaged children and youths. Through partnerships with churches and other charities, talented individuals will be identified and helped to reach their potential. ‘There is no greater poverty than the poverty of opportunity,’ says guitar guru, Andy McGibbon, who started the campaign. Prince Mhlanga, 22, from Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, was the first beneficiary of the project at its official launch last month. ‘I am very blessed. I have been wanting to play the guitar since I was a little boy,’ said Prince after the handover. ‘This is going to change my life. I hope to play in a youth band some day.’ Prince will also receive free guitar lessons from a guitar teacher who volunteered his services. McGibbon is asking the public to donate any unwanted guitars to the campaign by dropping them off at Andy McGibbon’s Guitar World at the Homeworld Centre, corner of Malibongwe Drive and Rocky Street in Strijdompark, Gauteng. The campaign also needs guitar teachers who are willing to donate some of their time. Phone 011 791 6887. For more information go to www.andymcgibbons.co.za or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
African Music Exhibition A travelling exhibition by the International Library of African Music (ILAM), titled For Future Generations – Hugh Tracey and the International Library of African Music, is on view at the Origins Centre until 9 January 2011. ILAM, a research centre and archive, houses the Hugh Tracey Collection, a rare and important collection of the musical heritage of sub-Saharan Africa. Consisting of sound recordings, films and photographs, the material was captured between 1928 and the early 1970s during 19 field excursions made by Tracey as far north as what was then the Belgian Congo. Tracey established an ethos of respect for the music and culture of the sub-continent, preserving and documenting it with scientific precision, using the best available recording methods of the time. The exhibition is the outreach and education component of a two-year cataloguing and digitising project funded by the Rand Merchant Bank Expressions Fund. It displays a selection of African musical instruments from the Tracey Collection and features exhibits related to Tracey’s field research, publications, films and audio recordings. Highlights are a 1939 film made during a recording excursion in South Africa, along with six audio stations which offer visitors a vast array of music to listen to. One audio station provides an opportunity to listen to a Hugh Tracey radio show and video stations offer footage of South African mine dancing, Chopi xylophone orchestras, Shona music and story-telling. Throughout the exhibit, stunning photos from Tracey’s field excursions bring his work to life and portray the vibrancy of African music and culture. The exhibition will be staged in The Gallery at Origins Centre, which is open 7 days a week from 09h00 to 17h00. For enquiries, e-mail email@example.com or call 011 717 4700.
Cape Dance Company’s Henk Opperman, CaraMay Marcus and Junaide Abrahams
Image (ELENA &AGAN
The Cape Dance Company, under the direction of Debbie Turner, celebrates 15 years this year with a dynamic anniversary season at the Artscape Theatre from 24 November until 4 December, featuring works by top international and local choreographers, performed by an ensemble of superb dancers. Tickets cost from R100 to R150, telephone 021 421 7695, or go to www.computicket.com/ 083 915 8000.
Summer Elegance New EMI Classics
Guests enjoying a day of love, life and summer - The House of Krone Twee Jonge Gezellen
Nicolas Charles Krone Marque 1 with fresh oysters
‘Summer Elegance’ is the affectionate name given to the annual fun-filled event held at the Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate in Tulbagh, home to the Krone family’s Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Wines. Celebrating the tricentenary of the legendary estate, the family prefers to regard it as only ‘300 years young’. This year’s event takes place on 11 December from midday to sunset and the theme is ‘Put Your Hat On’. This is summer socialising at its finest in a relaxed, yet elegant ambience with the crème de la crème of delicatessen offerings to tantalise your senses: sushi and oyster bars by Wasabi Restaurant, olives by Groote Vallei, handmade nougat by Wedgewood and, to crown the day of sensational splendour, the award-winning Krone bubbles. Also on offer are an exhibition of vintage cars and breathtaking mountain and vineyard views. Kobus Dippenaar Haute Couture will be showcasing his High Summer Collection at this year’s affair. To complete the day of sensual splendour will be a performance by the esteemed band Coda. They combine classical electric strings and Afro-jazz sax with exhilarating beats and sumptuous vocals, reflecting the unique diversity of South Africa. Entrance is R120 per person. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Steinthal Orphanage in Tulbagh. For bookings and enquiries, please contact Luke Krone. Tel: 023 2300 680/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.houseofkrone.co.za.
EMI Classics has released two new CDs: Solatino from Gabriela Montero and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 3 & 4. Gabriela Montero’s Solatino brings listeners a sampling of South American piano music from her home country of Venezuela, as well as Cuba, Argentina and Brazil. In the tradition of Beethoven and Liszt, who saw classical improvisation as a ‘serious art’, Montero includes some of her own improvisations on this album. Solatino is beautiful listening, says Montero, ‘This music is to drink a rum and Coke to, to go out and be happy. And we need a bit of that – especially in the classical world.’ The album features the music of South American composers: Cuban, Ernesto Lecuona, who wrote eleven film scores for US film studios such as MGM, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox in the 1930s and 40s and is perhaps best known for his ‘Malagueña’; Argentines, Antonio Estévez and Alberto Ginastera; Brazilian, Ernesto Nazareth, who is known for his piano works which ‘blend European salon style’ with ‘Afro-Brazilian rhythms’; Teresa Carreño, known as ‘The Valkyrie of the Piano’ and Moses Moleiro. Leif Ove Andsnes, with the London Symphony Orchestra, presents Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no.3 in D Minor and Piano Concerto no.4 in G Minor on this new album. The bringing together of these two concertos in one album allows listeners to compare Rachmaninov’s sweeping third concerto to his fourth, which was composed almost two decades later, and in a more modernist style. This CD features Rachmaninov’s 1941 revised version of his fourth piano concerto. ‘Out of all my concerto recordings, I am tempted to say that I am most proud of this one,’ says Andsnes.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
CLASSICFEEL readers stand a chance to win one copy each of Solatino and Leif Ove Andsnes’ Rachmaninov Piano Concertos 3 & 4. To enter, simply send your name, contact details and the answer to the question below to CLASSICFEEL/ EMI Classics giveaway, PO Box 3670, Randburg 2125, fax to 011 787 8204 or email competitions@ classicfeel.co.za. Regrettably only one entry per person. Closing date: 31 January 2011. Question: Who composed ‘Malagueña’?
FIRST SEASON 2011
Wednesday 9 & Thursday 10 February + (Sunday 13 Feb – ZK Matthews – UNISA at 3pm) CONDUCTOR: Emil Tabakov ROSSINI Semiramide: Overture BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto, No.4, op.58, G major MOZART Symphony No.36, K.425, C major (Linz) Michael Roll piano Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 February CONDUCTOR: Emil Tabakov MOZART The Impresario Overture, K.486 HAYDN Cello Concerto, Hob.V11b:2, D major BEETHOVEN Symphony No.4, op.60, B-flat major Georgi Anichenko cello Wednesday 23 & Thursday 24 February + (Sunday 27 Feb – ZK Matthews – UNISA at 3pm) CONDUCTOR: Emil Tabakov TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Overture RAVEL Tzigane,rapsodie de concert, for Violin & Orchestra SAINT- SAËNS Introduction & Rondo capriccioso, op.28 RIMSKY- KORSAKOV Capriccio Espagnol, op.34 Svetlin Roussev violin Wednesday 2 & Thursday 3 March CONDUCTOR: Bernhard Gueller RESPIGHI Antiche danze ed arie (Ancient Airs and Dances): Suite1 MOZART Piano Concerto, No.9, K.271, E-flat major (Jeunehomme) BIZET Symphony No.1, C major Natalia Lavrova piano Wednesday 9 & Thursday 10 March + (Sunday 13 March - ZK Matthews – UNISA at 3pm) CONDUCTOR: Bernhard Gueller LIADOV Eight Russian Folk Songs, op.58 TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto, No.1, op.23, B-flat minor DVO ÁK Symphony No.6, op.60, D major Ching-Yun Hu piano Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 March CONDUCTOR: Bernhard Gueller WAGNER Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90: Prelude & Liebestod WAGNER Tristan und Isolde: Nachtgesang MAHLER Symphony No.4, G major Kelebogile Boikanyo soprano
Concerts are held at 8pm at the Linder Auditorium, Wits University Education Campus (formerly JCE), 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown. The JPO reserves the right to alter scheduled programmes or artists as necessary. Season tickets are available immediately from the JPO. For further information contact: Tel (011) 789-2733 Fax (011) 789-7256 E-mail: email@example.com Bookings can be made through Computicket
A New Year, A New Season The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s (JPO) first 2011 season, which begins on 9 February, will be divided between two conductors. The final three concerts will be conducted by Bernhard Gueller, well-known to JPO fans and the closest the orchestra has come to a resident conductor. The conductor for the first three concerts of the season will be the Bulgarian Emil Tabakov, a highly versatile musician who has served as music director for both the Belgrade and Sofia Philharmonic Orchestras. The ﬁrst guest soloist of the season is Michael Roll, one of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished pianists. The 64-year-old began his career in the 1960s as a highly acclaimed child prodigy, making his concert debut with the City of Birmingham Orchestra at the age of ten. He has since performed in concert halls around the world with some of the ﬁnest conductors and orchestras. On 9 and 10 February, he will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 4, opus 58 in G major. Beethoven’s piano concertos are familiar territory for Roll, whose complete recordings of the works are highly acclaimed. The following week, young Belarusian cellist Georgi Anichenko will present the Haydn Cello Concerto in D major. Anichenko came to the attention of South African music lovers early in 2010 when he won the Fifth Unisa International String Competition. The third programme of the season will feature Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane, rapsodie de concert for Violin and Orchestra with another Eastern European guest, Bulgarian Svetlin Roussev, on violin, who currently lives and works in Paris as the Concertmaster for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France. The two penultimate concerts will host two world-class pianists: Russian Natalia Lavrova (Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 9) and Taiwanese Ching-Yun Hu (Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1). The ﬁnal concert is a little different, and really one to look out for. The programme will consist of two excerpts from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde – Prelude and Liebestod, and Nachtgesang – and Mahler’s Symphony no. 4. The guest soloist on this exciting programme is soprano Kelebogile Boikanyo, one of South Africa’s outstanding operatic singers. Once again the JPO offers Johannesburg classical music lovers plenty to look forward to.
Children’s Theatre The Wizard of Oz Follow the yellow brick road to the National Children’s Theatre as the heart-warming children’s classic, The Wizard of Oz is brought to life on stage. This spellbinding tale will transport audiences to the magical land of Oz during the December holidays until 23 December. Join the irrepressible Dorothy together with her beloved dog Toto on her remarkable journey over the rainbow to the Emerald City. Along the way she Image courtesy of National Children's Theatre meets a rusty Tin Man in search of a heart, a Scarecrow in need of a brain, and a Cowardly Lion who lacks courage... There’s no place like home. Visit www.jyt.co.za for more details.
Peter and the Wolf The classic children’s musical tale gets a fresh new coat of paint at Joburg Promusica from 11 November to 15 December. An innovative concept adds dramatic novelty to this production with the story first played out in its traditional version and then presented as a ‘remake’, which looks at the story through a contemporary lens. Show director, Sylvaine Strike says, ‘While we’ve shown due reverence to its classic roots, the show now has a more contemporary feel. I have developed the style of the show on the premise that a child’s imagination is limitless. South African children of all ages and from all backgrounds will easily be able to identify with the setting and the characters.’ Visit www.promusica.co.za for more details.
Toyland Time Noddy and all of his jolly friends from Toyland are back to entertain children at the Peoples Theatre in More Adventures of Noddy. The show runs until 24 December 2010 at the Joburg Theatre complex. Meet Big Ears, Whiskers, Bumpy Dog, Tessie Bear, Sam and Sally Skittle, and Sly the Goblin and, of course, the beloved little nodding man with the red-and-yellow car – in the stories Noddy and Noah’s Ark, and Noddy and the Tootle. Join in the interactive fun, complete with catchy tunes, vivid costumes, imaginative scenery and laughter galore, as Noddy and his friends learn important lessons about loyalty, friendship and trust. Visit www.peoplestheatre.co.za for more details. Tickets for all shows available through Computicket (www.computicket.com) or 083 915 8000.
In Cape Town: Vigil of Departure Curated by Marilyn Martin, Louis Maqhubela, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas A Vigil of Departure, the retrospective of Louis Maqhubela, runs until 13 February 2011 at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. The thrust behind this exhibition is to assess Louis Maqhubela’s place in, and contribution to the history of South African art. The exhibition endeavours to remind the public about this great artist, returning Maqhubela from obscurity and re-inscribing him into the history of art in this country. Maqhubela’s name is strongly associated with the Polly Street Art Centre, where he studied from 1957 to 1959. At a time of increasing apartheid restrictions, Polly Street, the first large-scale urban art centre in South Africa, emerged as a place where black artists could learn their craft. Encounters with visionary European artists and abstract works offered him a means of decisively breaking out of the conventions and stylistic mannerisms of a genre that had been labelled ‘Township Art’. Maqhubela’s new direction meant the end of figurative expressionism and the beginning of a personal engagement with modernist abstraction. His work became less about recording views of his environment and more about using line, form, shape and colour as expressive means in and of themselves. This is a slightly edited version of the exhibition held at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. Iziko South African National Gallery: Government Avenue, Company’s Garden, Cape Town. Open from 10h00 to 17h00 Tuesday to Sunday.
Arts on Main: Jill Trappler Detail of Light Fall - jilltrappler.co.za
The Seippel Gallery at Arts on Main in Johannesburg offers an opportunity for Joburgers to enjoy the work of Cape Townbased fine artist, Jill Trappler. The Gallery will feature Trappler’s exhibition, I see dreams of water, I see water dreaming until 30 January 2011. The exhibition will showcase Trappler’s paintings with an accompanying piece of music composed by Claire Loveday, which is a video in four pieces. Arts on Main is situated in the Maboneng Precinct of Jo’burg, for more information visit www.artsonmain.co.za or www.mainstreetlife.co.za.
In memoriam: Joan Sutherland World-renowned soprano Joan Sutherland died recently at the age of 83 after a long illness. An Australian by birth, Sutherland performed at the famed Sydney Opera House, and across North America and Europe. Her Italian fans called her ‘La Stupenda’. She was particularly revered for her performances of operas by Handel and 19th century Italian composers. With a voice that sang Dame Joan Sutherland magnificently within the high Image !LLAN 7ARREN 7IKIMEDIA #OMMONS ranges of soprano, Sutherland had initially begun her career singing as a mezzo-soprano. Her concert debut was as Dido in Dido and Aeneas in 1947. She studied at the Opera School of the Royal College of Music and performed with the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden It is recorded that her 1958 performance of ‘Let the Bright Seraphim’, from Handel’s Samson oratorio won her a ten minutelong standing ovation. She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1961.
Original Riverdance on Stage in 2011 Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland – in rock, music, theatre and film – nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance. Early 2011 sees this enormous production of no less than 65 cast and crew, featuring the remarkable Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe and a spectacular array of talent from Spain, Russia and America, grace the stages of The Teatro at Montecasino, Johannesburg from 25 January to 20 February and Cape Town’s Grand Arena at Grand West Casino for just six shows from 24 February to 27 February. ‘This show is a mammoth, not-to-be-missed entertainment experience which we are proud to stage in South Africa for the first time. During the past ten years, local audiences had the opportunity to see other Irish dance style shows but never before have they seen Riverdance, the original and probably the most successful show of its kind to come out of Ireland in recent times,’ says Attie van Wyk, CEO of BIG Concerts International. ‘The unbelievable precision of the dancers’ footwork is a sight to behold,’ adds van Wyk. Riverdance is an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into present day. The fusion of Irish dancing with such diverse dance styles as Flamenco, American tap and Russian folk dancing captures the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. Book at Computicket by calling 083 915 8000 or visit www.computicket.com.
december/january december/j january y 2011
Make this special with
Available on CD & DVD
Images by Suzanne Schleyer and Michael J. Stephan
bitter fruit-bittervrug with jozi art: lab
bitter fruit-bittervrug Susana K
bitter fruit-bittervrug Hendrick H
German team, Suzanne Schleyer and Michael Stephan team up with Johannesburg artist, Stephan Erasmus, to present a new photographic exhibition and sound installation, bitter fruitbittervrug, at jozi art: lab at Arts on Main until 31 January 2011. The exhibition will travel to other, international venues in the future. The exhibition presents striking black and white portraits of the Afrikaans inhabitants of two destitute communities on the outskirts of Pretoria, Maranata and Eagles Nest. Dealing with the issue of white poverty in contemporary South Africa, the project is the outcome of a collaborative 2010 residency facilitated under the auspices of the Sylt Foundation and its sister South African organization, the jozi art: lab. Says Indra Wussow, Curator of the Sylt Foundation and jozi art: lab, ‘I was extremely interested in showing another side of South Africa’s social transformation. To bring the Afrikaans artist Stephan Erasmus and the German artists, Suzanne Schleyer and Michael Stephan, together offers two completely different perspectives of the topic – one from the inside of the society and the other, an outsider’s view.’ Poverty is a political as much as a social issue and the exhibition seeks to delineate the realm of South Africa’s contemporary ‘poor whites’. It presents an interesting interplay 14
bitter fruit-bittervrug Suzanne Shleyer
of the black and white photographs with a ‘soundscape’ of interview fragments conducted between the people photographed, the artists, sculptures and books, by Stephan Erasmus. Suzanne Schleyer states: ‘The process of engaging with the community was a very important and collaborative one. As photographers, and especially non-South Africans, we could not merely walk into a community and decide how they should be represented. All the people depicted in our images, and represented in our interviews were involved with deciding how to present themselves to the world.’ ‘Whilst they suffer from poverty, it is a circumstance of their lives and not a defining character trait. They wanted to show this.’ Schleyer and Michael Stephan created a studio and invited the community members to be photographed in front of a neutral white wall. The artists didn’t ask them to present themselves in a special pose or position. jozi art: lab has previously co-ordinated projects in Kliptown, Soweto and in the Johannesburg CBD. Wussow says, ‘jozi art: lab hosts cultural residencies for international artists in Johannesburg adding significantly to the rich artistic conversation in South Africa. bitter fruit-bittervrug is the outcome of such a cross cultural dialogue.’
Featuring Gloria Bosman from 11 Jan 2011
Songs of Migration
SUNJATA a beautiful story adapted from Mali folktales
directed by James Ngcobo
A musical tribute to the great songs of migrants across the African continent, created by and starring Hugh Masekela Season 1: 24 November – 19 December 2010, with Sibongile Khumalo as the Lead Storyteller Season 2: 11 January – 13 February 2011, with Gloria Bosman taking over the role of Lead Storyteller. Directed by James Ngcobo.
The award-winning actor presents his three now legendary one-man plays: The Ugly Noo-Noo Between the Teeth Mistero Buffo. 30 November – 19 December 2010
Win! Win! Win!
Win! Win! Win!
International radio playwriting competition Do you live outside the UK? Would you like to win £2 500, a trip to London and have your play broadcast all over the world? BBC World Service and the British Council are once again joining forces to launch the International Radio Playwriting Competition 2011. Applicants are invited to write a radio play of approximately 60 minutes in length on a subject of their choice. The play must be the original, unpublished work of the person or persons submitting it. The competition is open to any writer who is not normally a resident of the United Kingdom. The play must be written in English but can be translated by a third party. There are two main prizes given: to the best play written in English as a first language and to the best play written in English as a second language. The two prize winners will each receive £2 500 sterling and a trip to London to see their plays being recorded and to attend a prize-giving evening. Application forms will be available to download from: www. bbcworldservice.com/radioplay or www.britishcouncil.org/arts. Submissions and application forms can be emailed to radioplay@bbc. co.uk or delivered in hard copy format to the British Council offices in South Africa.
Third album from Tina Schouw
Image courtesy of Thembela Vokwana
Singer/songwriter Tina Schouw has just co-produced her third album, Wind’s Call, which was released mid-November 2010. The tracks on the album are a mixture of a live show recording at Beach Road Studios in Seapoint, Cape Town and a studio session at Sunset Recording Studios in Stellenbosch. Wind’s Call subtly blends a range of acoustic styles from folk to jazz and features a stellar cast of musicians. Tina, on guitar and vocals, is joined by Kevin Gibson on drums and Wesley Rustin on double bass. Together they form the heart of the band. Marc Maingard on harmonica, Rebecca Smith on accordion and Jacqui Davies on cello each add their sublime touch to the live recording tracks, whilst Mark Fransman on piano and clarinet joins the band for the studio sessions. Tina’s music and lyrics tell about her personal stories of connection to the self, loved ones and humanity. As she explores these themes, moods shift from gentle and contemplative to more celebratory and also spiritual. Wind’s Call is inspired by the beauty of womanhood, the rhythms of our natural universe and our shared place within it. This is an intimate album of beautiful compositions which will linger long after the playing has ended. The album was co-produced by Mark Fransman. The CD launch event is scheduled for 3 December, in Cape Town. For more details visit www.tinaschouw.co.za or contact Marie Wilcox on 083 450 7533.
CLASSICFEEL readers stand a chance to win one of six bottles of Krone Borealis Brut 2007. To enter, simply send your name, contact details and the answer to the question below to CLASSICFEEL/Krone giveaway, PO Box 3670, Randburg 2125, fax to 011 787 8204, or email competitions@ classicfeel.co.za. Regrettably only one entry per person. Closing date: 31 January 2011. Question: Where is the home of the Krone Family's Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling Wines?
Muziq ’n nasionale klassiekemusiekkompetisie vir jong volwasse instrumentaliste/ a national classical music competition for young adult instrumentalists
Muziqanto ’n nasionale klassiekesangkompetisie/ a national classical vocal competition
Navrae/Enquiries: Ilse Schürmann Sel/Cell: 082 851 7157 www.atkv.org.za
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Dine with Opera South Africa in 2011
Image courtesy of Casta Diva
A unique venue, nestled high on the Northern slopes of the Magaliesberg amidst peaceful and tranquil surroundings that offer stunning views and an unsurpassed setting of natural beauty and elegance in an oasis of peace and serenity in the city.
Sipho Mlobile, Nolubabalo Mdayi, Goitsemang Lehobye and Thabiso Masemene
Opera South Africa (OSA), in association with Casta Diva and CLASSICFEEL magazine, proudly sponsored by DSTV, will present a series of dinner concerts at Casta Diva’s Charisma Restaurant in 2011. These dinner concerts will take place on the first Saturday of every month, beginning in February 2011, as part of Opera South Africa’s artist development strategy. OSA is entrusting its artists with the responsibility of devising the programmes for these dinner concerts and choosing the supporting artists. Under its guidance OSA hopes to see artists rising to the challenge of learning the fine art of compiling a concert programme. The 2011 concert series commences on 5 February 2011 with a concert featuring Thabiso Masemene and friends celebrating the beauty of love for Valentine’s month. Love is in the Air will include a selection of beautiful arias, duets, trios and ensemble works masterfully performed while guests enjoy the delights of a seven-course Casta Diva dinner, prepared by new Executive Chef, Sean Ward. Dinner will include a selection of wine pairings. For bookings contact Casta Diva on 012 542 4449 or info@ castadiva.co.za. Dinner Concert Menu – 5 February 2011 Terrine of smoked salmon trout with crab and baby coriander salad Tomato and basil consommé Sorbet (house-made lemon sorbet)
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Casta Diva Art Gallery
67 Albatros Street, Ninapark, Pretoria Tel: 012 542 4449 | Fax: 012 542 3085 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.castadiva.co.za
Salmon Angela Gheorghiu Pan-seared Scottish salmon, displayed on chive-infused mashed potato, dressed in a creamy leek sauce Fillet of Beef Zurichoise Beef fillet rubbed with porcini mushrooms, roasted medium rare, presented on sauté potato dressed in a morel cream sauce, accompanied by wild mushrooms and deep fried shallots Caramelised lemon tart with chocolate sorbet Tea and coffee
4th Unisa National Piano Competition 9-16 July 2011 ZK Matthews Great Hall Unisa, Pretoria
First Prize: R60 000 Second Prize: R40 000 Third Prize: R25 000 The competition consists of a qualifying round (CD) and 4 live rounds. The finalists will perform a concerto with orchestra. All live rounds open to the public. Entries close on 26 February 2011. An Information Brochure is available at the Unisa Music Foundation (012 429 3311/3344/3336/3900) www.unisa.ac.za/musicfoundation
Ghoema and Glitter exhibition at Iziko
Ghoema & Glitter, New Year Carnival in Cape Town - by Carina Beyer, Iziko photographer
Iziko Social History Collections department presents Ghoema and Glitter: New Year Carnival in Cape Town. This exhibition showcases a unique part of Cape Town and South Africa’s history and culture – content that has never before been the subject of a museum exhibition. ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ Carnival is a significant aspect of the social history of Cape Town and continues today to form part of the City’s cultural landscape. Ghoema and Glitter: New Year Carnival in Cape Town reveals how carnival participation has been passed on from generation to generation, while at the same tracing the changes to the carnival over time. The exhibition details the histories and performances of the Nagtroepe (Malay Choirs); Christmas Bands and Klopse, who together make up what we understand as the ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ celebrations. The exhibition draws on Iziko Social History’s new oral history and carnival collections, which are included in the exhibition in the AV stations, texts and images, as well as displays of artefacts. Ghoema and Glitter: New Year Carnival in Cape Town provides a rare opportunity to showcase the creativity of a range of photographers, artists and film makers who have been inspired by the carnival and made it a subject of their work. The exhibition runs at the Iziko Good Hope Gallery, Castle of Good Hope until 31 January 2011. For more information please visit www.iziko.org.za.
Merry Hell and the Dreambody
Trio con brio
In Merry Hell and the Dreambody, Kate Gottgens’ new body of paintings, conflict and desire are central themes. Using old, found photographs featuring family gatherings, backyard rituals, and kids at play, Gottgens manipulates the image in such a way as to have us wondering, ‘what are the myths behind the veil of our daily lives? What truth is buried beneath the image of a happy family group? And how did we, as children, adapt to the forces of the world we found ourselves in?’ Serpent. 2010. 120 x 84cm. Oil on canvas. In painterly strategies of dripping, bleeding and blurring colours, Gottgens continues to engage with the concerns of contemporary painting, creating works that merge the familiar with the mysterious and give life to the magic, joys and sorrows of growing up. The opening reception for this exhibition takes place on 1 December from 18h00 at the Joáo Ferreira Gallery at 70 Loop Street, Cape Town and runs until 8 January. Tel: 021 423 5403 or go to www.joaoferreiragallery.com.
CAPE TOWN LETTER Y ou know what they say – ‘ ’tis the season to be merry’. Well, it’s also the season to be careful, circumspect and contemplative. In fact, there are going to be so many roadblocks in and around Cape Town this December and January that it would be really foolish to try to drink and drive. As tricky as this might be, because of this country’s lack of a reliable, safe, late-night public transport system, people simply have to make plans to have a designated driver. And, let’s face it, as much fun as it is to sip on the Cape’s finest wines and indulge in its popular restaurants, the slaughter on our roads is a tragic reminder of our lack of responsibility. You may wonder at my use of the word ‘contemplative’. Well, surely it is time we stopped at least for a moment during December, to contemplate the reasons for the holidays in the first place? Whether you are a religious person or not, and no matter which faith you may adhere to, the basic message of Christmas is after all peace and goodwill to all mankind. And I think that’s a sentiment that actually transcends religions. The sense of giving and sharing among friends, lovers and family makes Christmas a truly special occasion. What could be better than sitting on a mountain top here in the Cape, or on the beach, and contemplating life’s rich tapestry as the sun takes its long, languid time to set? It’s those moments which are important at Christmas and I hope you get a chance to do just that. But, I don’t mean this letter to be a sermon! It is just that I’ve had to consider a lot about cultures and religions, as always at this time of the year, in my position as programme manager of Fine Music Radio. As a strictly classical and jazz station, we can eschew the somewhat trashy glitz and glamour of a commercial festive season and concentrate on the fine music that has been inspired by this season over the centuries. Yet we have to consider the many, varied cultural differences of our listeners. Our Christian listeners expect us to play a feast of Christmas music, both sacred and popular. The result is a yearly debate between the station’s manager (myself) and the presenters, about when to begin with our Christmas music. Usually it is 16 December. Some people feel that’s far too late and we’re referred to as ‘scrooges’!
The fisherman’s village of Paternoster in the Western Cape, South Africa – Wikimedia Commons
Start your visit to the winelands
CT Anyhow, that is when we will begin this year and if you are visiting Cape Town, I certainly hope you will tune into Fine Music Radio on 101.3 FM and 94.7 if you’re in the Hout Bay area. We promise you not only superb music but also to keep you right up to date with what is going on in Cape Town and its surrounds during December and January. We have an annual tradition of broadcasting the service of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel in England and that happens on Christmas Eve at 18h00. You can imagine that a whole lot is going on. For example, there is a German Cultural Festival which opened in mid-October and which runs until the end of February 2011. Its official title is ‘German Cultural Weeks’ and it celebrates 20 years of German unity and 20 years since the release of Nelson Mandela. There are brochures available from the German Consul General in Cape Town and you will notice that apart from music, there are panel discussions, art exhibitions and films. Part of the festival is the performance of The Flying Dutchman, the opera by Wagner, which I alerted you to last month. There, the Wagner overlaps another festival, and that is the Suidooster Festival which takes place every year in January and February. This, too, is an eclectic festival that features a strong Afrikaans cultural input with contributions from around South Africa and, occasionally, the world. They have also embraced the Richard Wagner Society of South Africa’s latest production. I don’t think I need to point out the many, many outdoor activities that abound in this neck of the woods during December and January. But, if you are planning to visit, try and get hold of the local brochures which will tell you about unusual things – for example, the annual oyster festival up the West Coast at the beautiful town of Paternoster. You can rest assured that the weather will be good. Our rainy season was in winter and the summers are hot and dry. This is why the ‘tinderbox syndrome’ develops and we often have very serious fires on our mountains. Then there’s the famous south-easter. But, we need it in Cape Town, as irritating as it can be. It blows away the dust and heat and helps to cool down those stifling days. CF
onboard with our award-winning wines.
Durban Smarts Dhaveshan Govender and Shika Budhoo appear in The Fantastical Flea Circus.
here’s a fun-filled programme for all ages this festive season in Durban, from children’s theatre to musicals, craft celebrations and affordable art shows. Running until the end of January, the African Christmas exhibition at the African Art Centre is a result of skills training workshops, and features charming beaded, embroidered and felt Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, as well as tableware and gifts. The Playhouse offers a number of productions including the Cape Town City Ballet’s production of Cinderella which runs until 5 December in the Drama. Buckled, the comedy two-hander directed by Krijay Govender, makes a popular return to the Opera from 7 to 11 December. Starring former Durban actress, Leeanda Reddy (who co-wrote Buckled with Krijay Govender) and Johannesburg actor, Meren Reddy, Buckled focuses on marriage within the Indian community as seen through the perspective of a young couple’s experiences. Mbongeni Ngema’s stage classic, Asinamali, runs in the Playhouse Drama from 15 to 30 December. This internationally acclaimed South African piece was the first production Ngema wrote for his Committed Artists Company. A show of immense vitality, sadness and humour, Asinamali makes for compelling theatre – given explosive force with its hammering delivery, mingling exhilarating dance and mime, and hypnotic choral singing. There will be a special Christmas Concert in the Playhouse Opera from 21 to 24 December. KickstArt’s Christmas ‘panto’ will be the delightful Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood which runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 7 December until 9 January offering an adventurous journey through the enchanted forests and castles of medieval England. Inspired and influenced by the visionary work of Durban’s master of pantomime, John Moss and his watershed NAPAC version, director Steven Stead has masterfully combined the original concept with some fresh ideas. Design is by Greg King and the cast includes Lyle Buxton, Darren King, Londiwe Dhlomo, Peter Court, Bryan Hiles, Ewok, Liesl Coppin and Farai Gwaze. Down at the Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf, young and old are in for a treat when they meet the widely-respected ‘fleaoligist’, Dr Dhaveshan, and world-renowned singing sensation, Duchess de Budhoo, in The Fantastical Flea Circus. Written and directed by Clinton Marius, it stars Shika Budhoo and Dhaveshan Govender
Image Val Adamson
Get to Durban...with ease.
Anthony Stonier in the adult pantomime, Peter Pan.
and promises a merry morning of magic and mirth with the Teeniest Tiniest Circus on Earth! The Fantastical Flea Circus runs from 11 December to 9 January daily at 11h00 and an optional ticket price extra of R15 offers a harbour boat ride. This year’s spectacular Dolphins by Starlight runs at the uShaka Marine World Standard Bank Dolphin Stadium between 14 and 18 December. This fun-filled family show is produced by Wayne Scott and directed by Karen van Pletsen. Popular performers Shelly McLean and Clive Gumede as well as the gospel choir and live band will be challenged to avoid being upstaged by Sea World’s impressive dolphins, including the magnificent Gambit! The Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown will present its 29th birthday celebrations on 19 December from 12h00. Supported by Castle Milk Stout, it will feature the Madala Kunene Band. Thanks to Welcome Msomi’s gesture of identifying Stable Theatre as the recipient of the bursar money from his Johnnie Walker Celebrating Strides Award, a warm-hearted musical drama has been created, titled Nkanyezi, to run from 10 to 19 December. Running in tandem will be the whacky children’s play, Rhythm Dudes. Supper theatre is thriving. Krystle Temmerman and Bandile Hlophe are the driving forces behind the new 350-seater House of Theatre at Amanzimtoti’s Galleria Mall. Directed by Charon Williams-Ros and co-devised by her and Rory Booth, Carnival Time! runs until 11 December and features Temmerman, Hlophe, Rory Booth and Brendon Mendez with dancers Natalie Dennis and Shelley Bothma, backed by the popular Solid Gold Band. Carnival Time! will be followed by Zaffa Land which runs until New Year’s Eve, promising a fun experience with Rob Warren and his band. Zaffa Land marks the journey of two brothers as they attempt to carve a place for themselves in the music industry, from humble beginnings in the garage at home to finding their own voice as the well-established band, The Royal. At the Barnyard Theatre at Gateway until 9 January, The Absolute 80’s offers a funky, hip and trendy musical journey through the decade that produced everything from Boy George to Guns ‘n Roses to the Eurythmics and new technology that saw the launching of MTV, video and fax machines. The setting is a school reunion, hosted by the inimitable Bronwyn Evans in the role of the head mistress, so be prepared for party-time ‘de luxe’! On 28 and 29 January, The Barnyard then hosts Circle of Life, a new production from Ian von Memerty and his elegant championdancer wife, Viv and their children, Oscar (15) and Kasvia (10). Moving to Hillcrest, the Heritage Theatre offers the ever-popular Gee Jays in a rerun of their smash hit Who’s Your Daddy until New Year’s Eve. Gee Jays Gary McKenzie and Grant Bell – joined by Jonothan Didlick who bumps up the eye candy level (!) – present their usual zany look at life with comic sketches and popular numbers. At the new Stirling Theatre at the Italian Club in Durban North, there’s Holiday Fever, a party show designed to knock the ‘stuff’ out of ‘stuffiness’ with a line-up of rock ‘n roll party festive favourites. Lloyd De Gier, Marion Loudon, Anthony Ellis, Luke Holder, Shaun Parrot and Dominique Marot invite audiences to throw away their inhibitions and have a good laugh into the bargain.
Back on the supper theatre scene, and hopefully to stay, is Musgrave Supper Theatre in Musgrave Centre, formerly the home of the Dockyard Supper Theatre. Producer Sue Clarence has cleverly identified this venue as being perfectly situated for the kind of audiences her annual adult panto attracts and this year’s show, Peter Pan, should play to full houses. Running until New Year’s Eve, Peter Pan is written and directed by Darren King who has co-designed the show with Bryan Hiles. Anthony Stonier, appearing in a range of outrageous costumes in his 14th adult panto, is in charge of musical direction and costume design. The cast includes Rowan Bartlett (Peter Pan), Rikki Hastings (Wendy), Daisy Spencer (Tinkerbell) and Thomie Holtzhausen as a whole whack of characters. The KZNSA Christmas Fair is well underway at the KZNSA Gallery. Running until 9 January, it will be followed on 25 January by The Bold and the Beautiful, the 2011 annual members’ exhibition. artSPACE has its popular Annual Affordable Art Show in which the gallery manages to collect a wide range of fine art and keep the prices down. Running until 15 January, the maximum sale price is R3 000 this year and some 100 participating artists are represented. Eritrean-born, South Africa-based artist Petros Ghebrehiwot moves in on 24 January with an exhibition focusing on society’s movement towards positive values. Magician and artist Arthur Reed has an exhibition of paintings, miniature instruments and sculptures at his gallery in Pinetown until the end of December. After the Christmas/New Year break, stand by for the popular Musho! Festival of One and Two Hander Theatre which takes place at the Catalina Theatre from 12 to 16 January and starts 2011 off with a feast of excellent theatre. All the best for the festive season and the New Year! More details to be found on my artSMart website at www.artsmart. co.za or check the Events Diary at http://news.artsmart.co.za. CF
Book, pay and even check in online at ba.com
Hotep Idris Galeta 7 June 1941 - 3 November 2010
Image courtesy of Sheer Sound
Music lovers around the world were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden, tragic passing of jazz pianist and teacher, Hotep Galeta in November 2010. Born in Crawford, Cape Town in 1941, Galeta grew up in the rich music culture of the Western Cape. From the age of seven, his father began teaching him the basics of the piano. He became interested in jazz after hearing jazz radio programmes on short wave radio. In the 50s, he met Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) at a high school concert. The two became close friends and Ibrahim became Galeta’s musical mentor. Galeta went on to establish himself as one of the Cape’s most important young jazz pianists, playing alongside many of the finest jazz musicians of the age. In 1961, as apartheid tightened its grip on South Africans of colour, Galeta secretly left the country and emigrated to the United Kingdom, later settling in the USA, where he lived, performed and taught until his return to South Africa in 1991. Upon his return, Galeta devoted much of his time to music education, including four years on the faculty of the University of Fort Hare, the musical directorship of a national music education programme for high schools, and co-ordination of music outreach programmes in Cape Town. Last year he and his family moved to Johannesburg. He died on 3 November after suffering an asthma attack. He is survived by his wife and five children.
The 2011 edition of Cape Classic will take place from 23 February to 5 March. The focus of the event this year will be on vocals and the harp as a solo instrument. An exciting development for Cape Classic director, Gabi Zahn, came when Western Cape Premiere Helen Zille and Horst Seehofer, Ministerpräsident of Bavaria, agreed to become the event’s patrons in celebration of the 16-year cultural partnership between the German state and the South African province. Performances will be taking place in various venues in Stellenbosch, Swellendam and Somerset West, with a special workshop for children at the Ikhaya Trust Centre Khayamandi. The performers will include Barbara Christina Steude (soprano), Tobias Berndt (baritone), Una Prelle (harp), Heike Janicke (violin), Andreas Kuhlmann (viola), Ulf Prelle (violoncello) and Juliane Ruf (piano). Kuhlmann, together with Ulf and Una Prelle make up the Philharmonic Trio Dresden. They will be performing a variety of works by composers ranging from Telemann to Haydn, to Beethoven and Spohr. 26
Image courtesy of Cape Classic
Cape Classic 2011
Harpist Una Prelle
Cape Classic is also running a Christmas Donation Programme that will help provide school fees and uniforms for disadvantaged children in the Tulbagh/Steinthal and Rondomskrit/Stellenbosch areas, as well contributing to the building of a crèche in Rondomskrit. For more information on programmes, venues, how to book tickets and how to get involved with the Christmas Donation programme, visit www.capeclassic.com.
december/january 2010 27
news /events Images Courtesy of EMI
Win! Win! Win! CLASSICFEEL readers stand a chance to win one of five CD copies of Classical 2011. To enter, simply send your name, contact details and the answer to the question below to CLASSICFEEL/Classical 2011 giveaway, PO Box 3670, Randburg 2125, fax to 011 787 8204 or email email@example.com. Regrettably only one entry per person. Closing date: 31 January 2011. Question: How many tracks are featured on Classical 2011?
n the latest of their annual classical retrospective compilations, Classical 2011, EMI Classics brings together the highlights of classical music recordings over the past year, as well as reviving seminal recordings from the past. The double album, over two hours in length, consists of 40 tracks and features the best and most popular names in classical music, including present day superstars, the legends of the past and young, up-and-coming artists. Among the current stars featured on the album are divas, Anna Netrebko, Angela Gheorghiu, Natalie Dessay and Sarah Brightman; operatic leading men Plácido Domingo, Rolando Villazón and Roberto Alagna; the latest Britain’s Got Talent winner, Paul Potts; pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Evgeny Kissin; and Berlin Philharmonic principal conductor, Sir Simon Rattle. These artists have all shown themselves to be leaders in their respective fields over the past year. The compilers of Classical 2011 have also made a point of highlighting the hottest new entrants on the classical scene. Mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato won numerous awards in 2010, cementing her position as one of the operatic world’s biggest new stars. German tenor Jonas Kaufman continues to declare his growing dominance in international opera, with a powerful voice that is equally at home in a Mozart opera or a Wagnerian music drama. Pianists Yundi Li and Gabriela Montero have both been extremely successful in employing their masterful technique and fresh approach to add youthfulness and variety to the recorded classical piano repertoire. Other rising talents included on the album are trumpeter Alison Balsom, violinist Sarah Chang, soprano Diana Damrau and mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux. The collection also includes brand new recordings only recently released on EMI Classics, such as extracts from the debut album of Die 12 Cellisten der Berliner Philharmoniker, the latest work by choral ensemble Libera, and the Belcea Quartet. Even though the compilation is focused on showcasing the best classical artists of the present and future, it also remembers the stars of the past, with important recordings by the likes of Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. Classical 2011 is the perfect gift for those wanting an introduction to classical music. However, it is also suitable for the seasoned classical aficionado looking for a concise, yet comprehensive collection of classical highlights of the past year, as well as a reminder of what to look out for in the coming months. CF
the spirit of Mzansi through the
The South African State Theatre presents the fifth annual Mzansi Fela Festival from 1 to 19 December 2010. The spirit of Mzansi will be celebrated through a vibrant collaboration of local performing artists. This year’s festival is an entertaining and exciting arts extravaganza that brings the best of Mzansi’s artistic talent to the stage, including performances in music, comedy, dance and drama. The 19-day festival kicks off on 1 December with a march from the Union Building to The State Theatre, where all will be entertained with the music of Chomee and pantsula, gumboot, hip hop, and traditional Tswana and Zulu dancers. Music highlights of the festival include South Africa’s queen of soul jazz, Lira; South Africa’s leading rock band, Prime Circle; kwaito group, Big Nuz from Umlazi; hip hop artist, Pro together with Jozi, one of South Africa’s newest and already prominent hip hop crews, and Freshlyground, the winner of the MTV Europe Award in the category Best African Act. Gospel in this year’s festival will be represented by Solly Mahlangu, winner of the SABC Crown Gospel Award 2009/2010 for Best Gospel Song of the Year, as well as a performance by the Tshwane Gospel Choir on 12 December. Mainstream theatre performances during the festival include: Bombarded by Maishe Maponya; Breed by Janet and Andrew Buckland; Tseleng: The Baggage of Bags by Sara
Matchett; Dowwe Dolla 007: Geskud, Nie Gepluk Nie directed by Hennie van Greunen; Spirits and Bones, directed by Thapelo Motloung; and Tselane and the Giant, directed by Galeboe Moabi. The fringe theatre offerings, performed by fieldworkers and local community groups, are the result of a partnership between the SA State Theatre and Tshwane University of Technology. Productions to be staged are: Zollie; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Sophiatown; The Prophecy; We Shall Sing for the Fatherland; Gangsters; Asinamali; Love, Crime and Johannesburg; Weemen; The Nurse; So What’s New; Issues and Corner Street. Dance will be represented by E-Boyz, in an all-male dance season featuring four dance pieces by leading South African contemporary dance choreographers showcasing, ‘masculine states of poetic grace’ according to Adrienne Sichel (The Star, Tonight). E-Boyz’ hour-long performance is set in their dressing room, with the dancers changing onstage. Comedy at the festival features comedian David Kau on 2 December. Discovered by accident while doing a corporate gig he is now at the forefront of South Africa’s comedy scene. He has headlined numerous comedy festivals and performed his own comedy specials. He also co-created and hosted the stand-up comedy show Blacks Only. Tickets for the festival are available at Computicket (www.computicket.com or 083 915 8000) and at the door.
with Fiona Ramsay The cast of Songs of Migration including Sibongile Khumalo and Hugh Masekela
010 draws to a close and looking back I wonder how the arts, and in particular theatre, fared over the period? A year which saw a significant influx of tourists to the country for the World Cup, a global recession and a series of municipal strikes, seemed variable. However people at the helm of theatres around the city remain optimistic, all sharing the sentiment that during economic strain people flock to theatres for ‘entertainment’. Malcolm Purkey, Artistic Director of The Market Theatre, said there was no doubt that it was a challenging year, due primarily to the teachers’ strike, as many of the theatre’s productions relied heavily on schools and student audiences. This was evident in figures for Nothing but the Truth, which had proved successful in previous runs, but this year was disappointingly poorly attended. Music and musicals are invariably a draw-card says Bernard Jay, CEO of the Joburg Theatre Complex, ‘Our audiences certainly prefer entertainment with a musical element to it, whether it is large-scale musicals, or small “tribute” shows, ballet, opera, or pantomime.’ Bigger auditoriums regularly have to house larger musicals, and smaller venues ‘straight plays’. He added, ‘The preference for music is reflected across the globe in the theatre industry. It’s very difficult (and unusual) for a “straight play” to survive on Broadway. And even in the West End of London – where many more such plays do cross the boards – they are usually for very limited seasons, whilst the hit musicals run on and on. Malcolm agrees that the Market’s Main Theatre rarely houses drama now, and favours musically oriented productions. Is this trend the result of a change in audience demographic and age? The Market Theatre has an 80 per cent black audience, which Malcolm says comprises ‘the new elite, the middle-class intelligentsia’, while Bernard feels that audiences at the Joburg Theatre, ‘… have got younger. A very good thing, as we have to prioritise the building of the audiences for the future. I’m not sure that they’re more “discerning”, but the current negative economy makes them much more specific about the decision to spend money on theatre. People tend to go with the safe, “tried and true” product and so lessen the risk.’ I wondered if ‘physical theatre’, which enjoyed enormous popularity during the last decade, continued to be favoured over literary based productions. Bernard suggests, ‘During his time, Shakespeare’s plays and comedies were considered “visually strong” and theatrically physical. But, moving forward into the “instant” technological era where the art of conversation diminishes, inevitably the concentration required for “literary or wordy pieces” is more difficult to sustain.’ Malcolm says he has noticed that audiences enjoy work that closely reflects their society more and more, and so recurrent themes
are domestic or social issues which have immediate relevance to, and impact directly on their lives. ‘ “Physical or non-verbal theatre” which has become more complex and is often image based can be more difficult to access, and so has become less popular.’ When asked if the economic downturn influenced his choice of festive season entertainment, Bernard was adamant it had not. ‘Thank goodness that the “brand” of Janice Honeyman pantomimes at our theatre seems as strong as ever. I really can’t imagine this theatre without the annual pantomime during this season.’ Featuring comedian, Mark Lottering as the lovable dame this year, and a festival of flash-buckling magic is Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates. Jazz has been the order of the day in the Fringe Theatre, featuring Khaya Mahlangu – one of a solid crop of SA musicians that have defined an era in music – most of whom are inspired by traditional African music, turning this clever mix of genres into a sound that could be said to be African jazz, world music and anything in between. In a similar vein is the music of Songs of Migration, being revived at The Market Theatre in Newtown and starring the inimitable and irresistible Hugh Masekela. Daphne Kuhn of the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square says she has, ‘planned a festive feast of musical shows for the whole family. Two weeks of some of South Africa’s leading opera stars such as June Kraus, Lucky Sibande and the popular group Diversity. Following that is the year-end show, The Black Diamonds – a perfect razzmatazz party. And we continue our weekly Friday lunch hour concerts – ending on 11 December with a Christmas concert presented by Jacobus Swart and Miro Chakaryan.’ Mark Sage of Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre describes the December season as having, ‘two ever-green audience favourites back – in the Studio we have everyone’s favourite, Andre The Hilarious Hypnotist – great fun for the whole family. No two nights are the same and people love coming back many times over for this great laugh! It is also ideal for the corporate market and end-of-year functions. On our Main Stage we have the record-breaking hit A Handful of Keys starring hugely talented Jonathan Roxmouth and keyboard wizard Roelof Colyn. Ian von Memerty’s magical hand has updated the show whilst keeping all the old favourites; it runs into the New Year.’ And across the piazza at the Teatro in the same complex you can don a feather boa, grab a hairbrush, sing and dance to Abba with the queens of MAMMA MIA!. If you are a traditionalist and dance is your preferred holiday fare you will have to head further north out of Jozi to the State Theatre in Pretoria for the Mzanzi Dance Festival and the South African Ballet Theatre’s enchanting version of The Nutcracker. CF
34 Images courtesy of Warner Music Gallo Africa
November saw the release of Josh Groban’s long-awaited fifth studio album, Illuminations. CLASSICFEEL sampled the tracks and looked into the production of the album, which shows the singer as he has never been heard before.
hese are my stories,’ says Josh Groban of the 13 tracks on his latest album, Illuminations. ‘Every one of these songs – someone’s going to know it’s about them; I’m going to get a text message about every one. This is a very personal record.’ Released more than three years after Noël – Groban’s last album, which dropped just in time for Christmas 2007 – Illuminations is quite unlike his earlier work, being characterised by greater intimacy, maturity and honesty. Groban’s website describes the album as a turning point in the singer’s career, ‘where folk meets classical, where art meets intimacy, where immediacy meets timelessness and where, most importantly, Groban was free to express himself more fully, more truly than ever before.’ Much of this renewed creativity came about as a result of Groban’s collaboration with the album’s producer, Rick Rubin. Rubin’s involvement with this album is especially remarkable because he is best known as one of America’s leading producers of rock and alternative music. He made a name for himself steering career-making recordings for metal bands Metallica and Slayer, rappers Run-DMC and Beastie Boys, and for helping the legendary Johnny Cash end his career in style with the seminal American Recordings series. He has acquired a reputation as a producer with the ‘Midas touch’. Both young artists, just breaking into the industry, and established performers looking to reinvent and relaunch themselves, have recruited Rubin to guide them toward their goal. Groban’s brand of classical, operatic pop was new territory for Rubin. At the same time, Rubin’s highly personalised, ‘stripped down’ working method, strongly directed towards drawing out the individual artistic voice of his artists, presented new
opportunities for Groban, whose earlier albums – all produced by the great David Foster – were marked by glossy production and an emphasis on vocal finesse rather than personal expression. Groban said of the partnership: ‘I’ve never worked for somebody like Rick and he’s never worked on any kind of music like that I do. So we were both in a situation where we felt like we were done with our formula for a moment and we both wanted to step out and try something else. And that’s terrifying for both of us. I give him so much credit for taking that risk with me.’ Illuminations developed slowly over the course of three years, with writing and recording taking place sporadically in short bursts whenever the muse took hold. Another significant first on the album was that Groban co-wrote eleven of the 13 tracks, teaming up on most of them with songwriter Dan Wilson. Wilson is another interesting choice as a Groban collaborator, having built a career predominantly in the rock and country genres. He is best known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band
“Groban was free to express himself more fully, more truly than ever before”
Semisonic. The overall result of Groban’s work with Rubin and Wilson was that Illuminations, in Groban’s words, is more of ‘an American record and not just a European classical experience’. Groban explained that this happened organically as both his producer and co-writer encouraged him to dig deeper into his influences and personal experience. ‘Without me even consciously knowing it would happen, I started to tap into so many influences that I had had growing up, and the American folk scene. Rick would say to me, “I’m giving you one note and one note only, and that is, don’t have any preconceived ideas about how you want this session to sound. Just let it happen.” And with those really open-minded days we started to re-shift and re-imagine what the record could be. We wanted to make a purely classical orchestral record from the beginning. And through this process it blossomed into that Americana, folk vibe and all of a sudden it didn’t feel like a classical crossover record. It felt like it had its own natural living space.’
For many of the songs, as is common with Rubin’s productions, the main parts, including Groban’s vocals and the core accompaniment, were recorded in single takes, with orchestral parts being added later. This enhances the album’s personal and spontaneous feel. The first single off the album, ‘Hidden Away’, is one example of this. The song is an appeal to let true love and one’s true self shine forth, not to keep it hidden inside. The lyrics call for a treatment that creates warmth and intimacy, which was best achieved through this ‘live’ approach to recording. ‘Hidden Away’ is one of the songs that arose from the Groban/Wilson partnership. Much like Groban and Rubin’s approach to recording the songs, the actual process of writing them depended on open-mindedness, playfulness and spontaneity. ‘Most of the best stuff came from moments where Dan and I could just relax and laugh together,’ Groban recalls. The two of them would spend a day together sketching lyrical and musical ideas. They would then sleep on these for a night, and work on them in a more focused manner the following day, expanding and polishing them. Groban sums up the role each of them played in the partnership as follows: ‘My strength is melody and his is coming up with lyrics that don’t sound trite on the melody.’ Another Groban/Wilson composition, thematically very similar to ‘Hidden Away’, ‘Love Only Knows’ is a declaration of intent to live and love honestly and without restriction. Groban played his original piano accompaniment to Rubin, who then instructed the guitarists to adapt it for a guitar intro. The result, as Groban’s website puts it, is ‘almost “folk-Bach” beauty’. This song is augmented by a lush, romantic string arrangement. On ‘Voce Existe Em Mim’, Groban made his first attempt at singing in Portuguese, thanks to Brazilian lyricist Lester Mendez. The melody, written by Groban, was handed over to arrangers David Campbell, who orchestrated a glissando string accompaniment, and another Brazilian, Carlinhos Brown, who created an exuberant drum backing – the only drums on the entire album. Although Groban originally hails from California, he now calls New York City his home. ‘Bells of New York City’ is his personal ode to his new hometown. The arrangement on this song is rich and layered, complete with strings and percussion, and hints at the multicultural nature of the Big Apple. The album’s one and only cover version reveals yet another fascinating side of the Groban artistic dynamic. ‘Straight To You’ is a song by Australian alternative rock band, Nick Cave and
the Bad Seeds, originally released on their 1992 album Henry’s Dream. At first glance, Nick Cave’s often rather dark explorations of love, lust and death would seem diametrically opposed to Groban’s anthemic classical pop. However, this yearning-filled love song is as perfectly suited to Groban’s voice and sensibility as his 2001 hit, ‘To Where You Are’. Although Groban is a lifelong Nick Cave fan, he was originally sceptical of the idea of singing one of his songs. Luckily for him and for fans, Rubin soon talked him around. Groban is a good friend of Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, another singer in the operatic pop vein. When Groban asked him to write a song for Illuminations, Wainwright immediately thought of a tune he had written with his mother, much loved folk singer Kate McGarrigle. The result was ‘Au Jardin Des Sans Pourquoi’, which translates as ‘In the Garden Without Whys’. Wainwright revealed that this was the first time he had collaborated with his mother in a songwriting effort. It also proved to be the only time, as McGarrigle died of cancer in 2009. Groban recorded the song, not only as a tribute to his good friend, but also as a eulogy to Wainwright’s beloved, departed mother.
“On this album, Groban has shown tremendous growth as an artist”
Showing another side to Groban’s artistry on Illuminations are two instrumental numbers, the first of which, ‘The Wandering Kind’, Groban wrote at the tender age of twelve. With some suggestions and additions from Rubin, it became the album’s opening track – appropriate for a collection of songs that documents and expands upon Groban’s beginnings and influences. There is a good chance that Illuminations may divide the critics, with many more conservative Groban admirers arguing that he ought to have stuck to the winning classical pop formula of his first four albums. But if there is one thing that remains constant on all his records, including Illuminations, it is his powerful, moving voice, which has only gone from strength to strength. And besides, it does no artist any good to stick to the same formula throughout his career. On this album, Groban has shown tremendous growth as an artist, both in his musical range and the greater initiative and drive he has shown on this work. ‘I was given the very lofty task of having more responsibility on this album than I’ve ever had,’ he says. ‘The bar was set high from the beginning. That’s why it took so long. But I can say that more of me went into this record than anything I’ve done.’ CF
ACT Awards 2010 The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Awards are held annually in recognition and celebration of excellence in South African arts, culture and creativity. One of the highlights of the annual award ceremony is the Lifetime Achievement Awards given to established artists with long, distinguished histories of service to the arts in South Africa.
s alient element of the ACT Awards is the presentation of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards selected at the discretion of the ACT Board of Trustees. The ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards honour arts professionals whose extraordinary careers have had a profound and lasting impact on arts, culture and heritage and whose lifetime achievements have contributed significantly to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa. Past recipients of this accolade include Gibson Kente, Es’kia Mphalele, Sylvia Glasser, Sophie Mgcina, Esther Mahlangu and Ronnie Govender, amongst others. For the first time in the event’s history, in 2008, three Lifetime Awards were presented to industry veterans and luminaries: David Koloane (Visual Arts), Miriam Makeba (Music) and Lynette Marais (Theatre). In 2009 David Goldblatt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Art, John Kani was the Lifetime Achievement winner for Theatre and Joseph Shabalala was recognised for his lifetime contribution to Music in South Africa. This year, ACT also awarded four ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals. Talented and emerging artists at a time in their careers when they have shown commitment to, and reached some professional standing in their chosen discipline, were eligible. These prestigious Awards honour young professional artists that fall within the first three years of their professional careers. The nomination process for the ImpACT Awards is open to the public and an independent panel of judges is convened. The scores are audited by Quarter Master Financial Services. The 2010 ACT Awards saw more outstanding artists rewarded for their work, with Lifetime Achievement Awards going to Peter Clarke (Visual Art), Gcina Mhlophe (Theatre) and Pops Mohamed (Music). ACT Chairperson Brenda Devar delivered the following message to the winners and sponsors of the 2010 ACT Awards: ‘As 2010 draws to its close we will no doubt reflect on our nation’s success in hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. It is of vital importance to both recognise achievement and to find ways to express a collective gratitude to those who boldly and bravely walk the path of excellence. ACT is privileged to be in a position
to honour exemplary achievement in the arts, casting the spotlight on great South Africans who have served the arts with vision and commitment. Sharing our passion for acknowledgement are our generous sponsors: the Vodacom Foundation, the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) who once again this year have allowed ACT to bestow the honour of lifetime achievement in Theatre, Music and Visual Arts on three eminent recipients. On behalf of the Patron of the Arts and Culture Trust, Athol Fugard, and the ACT Trustees, our sincere thanks for your invaluable contribution. 2010 also marks the inauguration of the ImpACT awards sponsored by Distell. These awards acknowledge young professional artists, who have made a significant impact in the arts industry during the first three years of their professional careers. Our sincere thanks to the independent panel of judges who selected our first ImpACT awards recipients. Our congratulations to the winners. We look forward to watching your careers going from strength to strength. We are incredibly proud of our media partnership with CLASSICFEEL magazine and extend our thanks to Lore Watterson and her editorial staff for ongoing and generous support of ACT. Allowing us to position the awards with sufficient PR muscle is Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) whose contribution we gratefully acknowledge. We look forward to adding our 2010 recipients of the ACT Awards to the growing list of luminaries who have boldly raised the creative bar, defined excellence and humbly stood apart allowing ACT, on behalf of the collective, to salute their achievements. Congratulations to all.’ CLASSICFEEL is proud to be the official media partner of the Arts and Culture Trust Awards. Time and again we have seen that these awards are both a true measure of new, rising talent, and in the case of the Lifetime Achievement Awards, a timely and well-deserved recognition of established artists whose work has helped to shape the South African cultural fabric. Congratulations to all the 2010 award recipients. We thank and applaud them for their past and present work, and look forward to the many great things that are yet to come. CF
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MESSAGE FROM THE VODACOM FOUNDATION The visual arts provide us as a nation with a dynamic and vivid reflection of our artistic and cultural life. As the proud sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Art, and a founding member of the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT), Vodacom Foundation pays tribute to the creativity and excellence of our visual artists in expressing their vision. In particular, we congratulate the winner of this year’s award for his outstanding contribution to the cultural vigour of the nation. Mthobi Tyamzashe | Chairman | Vodacom Foundation
THE ART OF A LIFETIME The ACT Lifetime Achievement Award winner for Visual Arts spent several years working on the docks before deciding to take some time off and ‘just paint’. Several decades later, his decision has been rewarded with a slew of national and international awards, numerous exhibitions and a lifetime in art.
ith more than five decades spent working as an artist (he is also a writer and a poet) Peter Clarke calculates that he has been involved in more than 95 exhibitions; his works have formed part of numerous, notable collections and have been exhibited around the world. In 2005, his achievements earned him the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for excellence in the fields of Art and Literature. ‘It was a great moment,’ he recalls, ‘a little bit sad – my brother was at the ceremony in Pretoria, but I was thinking that there were so many other people that played an important role in my life: my parents, for instance and my school principal in Standard 6 – he was the kind of person that believed that you must do things for yourself, if you have a dream you must pursue it.’ There seem to be a multitude of people that Clarke carries with him, from those not (corporeally, at least) present at the 2005 award ceremony, to the host of literary, biblical and historical characters who ‘pop up from time to time’ requesting inclusion in his series of fans – collaged works accompanied by
text, each of which represents an individual who has demanded airtime in Clarke’s imagination. These rarely include politicians, who, Clarke says, ‘don’t really have a sense of humour’. His characters, on the other hand ‘are very serious about life, but there’s something quirky about them’ and include a wide range of individuals from Walter Battiss – ‘I speak about how friendly he was, because I got in touch with him and asked if he would exchange works with me. And he wrote back a very generous, warm note, and he sent me works in exchange for what I sent him’ – to Salome: ‘I suggest that she asked for [the head of John the Baptist] because she was bored, she didn’t know what to do with herself and this wacky idea came to mind.’ ‘There are such a lot... at a show at Michael Stevenson in Cape Town there were 100 fans altogether,’ he says. More recently, Clarke – whose immense body of works has typically included small-scale paintings and prints – has been working on collaged, portable pieces, inspired by Oriental ‘concertina books’ and made up of a single, folded page.
Peter Clarke in 2009 with some of his hand-bound books (Image 2USSELL 3COTT)
Cutting the early morning air. 1985. Acrylic. (Private collection)
‘They’re long works which can be folded up and take up very little space,’ he says. In a previous interview he pointed out that while one can’t carry around a folded up Monet or Cezanne, with these fan works, ‘you can sit next to somebody in a waiting room and say: “I’ve got something to show you” and lift it out its box.’ The idea of unfolding an artwork up to 16 feet long while waiting for a plane, train or automobile is intriguing; it makes any space into a potential art gallery, with any person who happens to be around a potential audience. These collaged works are largely created from recycled junk mail, a response to Clarke’s frustration at being unable to return it – ‘they don’t leave a return address’. ‘It’s one way of keeping my place tidy; if everybody recycled they would tidy up the world. But what annoyed me a great deal recently was that I was thinking “I’m doing my little bit for humanity” and then there was that oil disaster in the Caribbean and I thought yes, so it goes,’ he laughs. Clarke conveys a warm, genuine humour, a gentle playfulness and a fascination with the endless foibles of humanity. This informs his work; and in turn appears to be fed and developed through his involvement with art and the art world, where art has always been a medium of communication and contact that can facilitate greater understanding of others. ‘In South Africa, in spite of our political problems, people have reached out to each other if they were involved in the same thing, if they found that that they had things in common,’ he says. ‘I think that artists are particularly lucky in that way, in that art makes it possible for people to get closer to each other, much more easily.’ Where words fail: ‘I find the visual thing works. An artist makes a statement and somebody else sees it and reads into it or thinks about it; the thought process is set in motion because of seeing that particular image.’ He gives personal examples of this communication across time and cultural divides: his amazement at ancient rock engravings in Kimberley – ‘it was as if the artist had just left them and gone on elsewhere’; his appreciation of Voortrekker courage, developed in part by ‘those paintings of Voortrekkers’ that in his youth had him thinking ‘Oh my God! But at the same time, a message comes through… even if they took up other people’s land in the process… to go off into the wild like that is something quite to be admired.’ Finally, he points out that during apartheid, a lot of people were moved to oppose the regime by exposure to art. The ACT Lifetime Achievement Award, while an honour, does not suggest that Clarke’s career is at its end; he has no plans to retire. ‘I’m hanging in there,’ he laughs, partly because early 2011 will see his work commemorated in a book written by Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin, entitled Listening to Distant Thunder. ‘I’m looking forward to that,’ he says. CF
MESSAGE FROM THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN MUSIC RIGHTS ORGANISATION (SAMRO) SAMRO is very proud to be the sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Music for the second year in a row. As one of the largest music collection societies in Africa, representing thousands of composers, author and publisher members for almost 50 years, we are once again honoured to be associated with the Arts and Culture Trust Awards and continuing this legacy. The ACT Awards provide our culturally rich country with a platform to recognise those special achievements and contributions to the development of the South African music industry. We look forward to seeing the winners continue making their valuable contribution to further development and upliftment of the industry as a whole. Yavi Madurai | General Manager | Strategy & Business Development
SOUTH AFRICA’S MUSICAL AMBASSADOR Aside from being a highly inventive and versatile musician, Pops Mohamed is a cultural activist who has dedicated a large part of his career to the preservation of South Africa’s indigenous music heritage.
rowing up in Benoni on the East Rand, Mohamed was raised on a wonderfully diverse musical ‘diet’. ‘My journey started when I was listening to LM Radio as a kid. I loved the sounds of The Shadows, The Beatles, etc. I decided to play the guitar when I was about 14 years old. My other influences at the time were “Bra Kippie”, Abdullah Ibrahim and the traditional music I heard on some of the local radio stations.’ While he absorbed all these influences, he also became fascinated with indigenous instruments. ‘I loved listening
to traditional musicians playing their instruments in shebeens or on street corners.’ Later on he decided to play these instruments and fuse them with the more modern sounds that had first ushered him into the world of music. And it is this fusion that gave us the unmistakable Pops Mohamed sound that we now know and love. That sound, described as jazz by some, but really in a category on its own, was shaped through many years of performing and experimenting, often in collaboration with some of the finest musicians from South Africa and around the world. For about
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two years, he played in a band with Moses Khumalo (alto sax) and Mokone Senkhane (trombone). Other people he has worked with include the London Sound Collective, Gloria Bosman, Madala Kunene, Khaya Mahlangu, Don Laka, McCoy Mrubata and Andreas Vollenweider. In the 80s and 90s, he worked extensively with the late, great Sipho Gumede on two projects titled Black Disco and Kalamazoo. For five years, he travelled the world as one half of a duo called The Millennium Experience, together with London based singer/poet/dramatist/multi-instrumentalist Zena Edwards. His longest collaboration was with Canadian multi-instrumentalist Bruce Cassidy, with whom he formed the SAMA Award winning project, Timeless. Although his musical interests and experiences are varied, Mohamed’s abiding passion is for African traditional music and he spends much of his time crusading on behalf of this art form, which he regards as being under threat from the rampant forces of modernisation and globalisation. He believes that his efforts in this field are starting to pay off. ‘I truly believe that the music of the future will be African music. My own research and workshops in the last few years and even now, have shown me that more and more young people are becoming aware of the danger that if we don’t work hard at protecting our musical heritage, we will be like a nation that has no soul or culture. So the young ones are now starting to play traditional instruments and mixing them with modern instruments. I’ve worked very hard abroad and here, on my home ground, to promote the use of traditional instruments and it is now slowly starting to show results.’ Adept on keyboards and guitar, Mohamed is really a true multi-instrumentalist, and it is undoubtedly traditional African instruments that form the true voice of his muse. ‘My favourites are the mbira, the kora and the San mouth-bow. The mouth-bow represents the San, the mbira [an instrument essentially made up of metal keys attached to a wooden board, often fitted into a resonator] represents the Shona people of Zimbabwe, although it is played in many African countries. The kora is a harp from West Africa and it has been played for hundreds of years.’
Mohamed’s view of the South African music industry is cautiously optimistic. ‘I think the industry as a whole is very pregnant at the moment. Things are slow, CD sales are down; marketing is a problem as always. But the music is kicking! Our productions as a whole can be compared with the rest of the world. We have great musicians who travel the world and draw huge audiences but back home there’s not much going for them. We need new venues; we need to give birth to new things.’ On hearing that he was about to receive the ACT Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music, Mohamed was ‘in total shock. I thought someone was playing “April Fool” on me. It took a while to sink in. Awards are things that we should never take for granted. They don’t come easily, but when we get them we feel inspired to work harder because we realise that people are recognising our work. It’s a great feeling and I feel really good about this once-in-a-lifetime achievement.’ Mohamed recently accompanied the Swiss harpist and World Music champion Andreas Vollenweider on his South African tour, including two shows at Cape Town’s Pollsmoor prison, which Mohamed describes as ‘amazing and very touching’. Not long after that, he spoke at the opening of an exhibition of traditional instruments at the Origins Centre on the University of the Witwatersrand campus. He is also putting the finishing touches on a new album called Sacred Healing Grooves. When not recording or performing, this private family man spends much of his time in the sanctuary of his home, often indulging his love of classic movies. But it seems there is seldom much time to relax, as new plans and projects are always on the go. ‘In the near future, I’m planning to spend much more time in South Africa working with the youth. I’m also looking for funding or partnership for my Kalamazoo label to produce the music of the future by signing up and recording talented artists, both young and old. I also have lots of work lined up with my present band, which features Ntsiki Mazwai, Zubz, Lesego Motsepe, Africapella, Siphokasi Willie and some new faces.’ CF
Images courtesy of ACT
MESSAGE FROM THE DRAMATIC, ARTISTIC AND LITERARY RIGHTS ORGANISATION DALRO has been involved in theatrical rights licensing since 1968 and over the years has acquired a formidable repertoire of theatrical product for the local market. In granting access to the rights of many of the world’s most performed plays and musicals to professionals and amateurs, DALRO has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to the cultural life of the country. As a mark of its commitment to the theatrical arts in South Africa, DALRO is proud to be sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre through ACT. Not only is it a fantastic way to pay tribute to an exceptional theatre practitioner, but it also serves as an endorsement of ACT’s various initiatives to fund, nurture and celebrate the arts. Gérard Robinson | CEO | The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO)
FROM THEATRE TO STORYTELLING Gcina Mhlophe has an innate flair for writing and performing, working over the years as a poet, playwright, actress, director, storyteller, music writer and singer. With a deep love for the home of her birth, she also holds strong convictions about literacy and the power of education.
he recalls finding her creative voice in high school when she was living in the Eastern Cape, writing her first poem in Xhosa. Born in 1959 to a Xhosa mother and Zulu father during the apartheid period when race and ‘tribal’ classifications were obsessively definitive of a person’s self, it was tough for her to deal with her ‘dual ancestry’ of Zulu and Xhosa language and culture but she found great joy in writing short stories and seeing them published in magazines. As an adult Mhlophe went to Johannesburg, living in Alexandra township. Pursuing work opportunities, she ran the gamut of the state’s draconian pass laws, but several events saw her continuing to find and explore her public voice. Her
experiences as a factory worker resulted in the true story, ‘The Toilet’. She also became involved in politics, raising her voice at rallies, ‘You didn’t have to ask me, I stood up and I started performing my own praise poetry.’ Briefly finding employment as a domestic worker, at one job in Yeoville, Mhlope used storytelling as a means of keeping the children occupied and found that ‘children who were not part of my own background could enjoy the story. That was a mystery to me. These white children could listen to the stories my gogo told me and enjoy them. That was a big surprise.’ She learnt an important lesson: storytelling had universal appeal which could cut through colour lines.
In addition, a neighbour noticed Mhlophe’s distinctive voice and invited her to become a newsreader with the Press Trust. Mhlophe jumped at the chance: ‘At that young age I knew I was leaning towards the arts, I knew when there was an opportunity passing by I was going to grab it. I don’t know when you can say “Hello opportunity, go well”. No, I say, “Here I am. Let’s travel together.” ’ The experience saw Mhlophe learning how to pronounce words properly, how to breathe and how to read news for radio. She started reading news for Press Trust for BBC Africa, for Radio Netherlands and BBC Zimbabwe. The work allowed her to meet many different people, including those at Staff Writer magazine and her stories were published in the magazine. A bomb blast put paid to her work at Press Trust but after her story, ‘Longula’s Wedding’ brought her to many people’s attention, she was able to move on to working for Learn and Teach magazine. Then theatre came calling. Maishe Maponyane invited Mhlophe to take the lead role in the play, Umongikazi: The Nurse. With a limited understanding of theatre as a series of ‘sketches’, Mhlophe took on the role with alacrity, rehearsing in the evenings after work. Believing their first performance was in a ‘nice hall in town’ the cast came to The Market Theatre, and found themselves playing to an audience filled with media, ‘including Barry Ronge’. Unfazed by this and having faith in knowing her part, Mhlophe nevertheless realised that she had ‘walked onto the professional stage’. The show proved popular, touring overseas for six months. Later Barney Simon invited Mhlophe to participate in a workshop theatre process which resulted in Black Dog: Inje’emnyama and introduced her to the likes of Neil McCarthy and Vanessa Cooke. This show also toured overseas with the result that Mhlophe finally resigned from Learn and Teach. The writing of her seminal theatre work, Have you seen Zandile? resulted from her need to deal with the death of her mother. It was her ‘recovery therapy diary’. First staged at The Market in 1986 with her in the leading role, it went on to international acclaim and has been performed again and again worldwide. She credits director, Marilyn van Reenen with ‘being very helpful in helping to shape the stage play’. She remembers initially receiving criticism for the play because it was ‘straight forward storytelling’ and not the standard ‘protest theatre’ of the time featuring cries of ‘Amandla’, and conventions such as the singing of Senzeni
Na? and ‘a funeral scene with an ANC-flag draped coffin’. This was a ‘big monster’ for her to face but it allowed her to realise that ‘I could write about me – my experiences as a human being’. She recalls performing the show around the world and audiences crying at the end of it, ‘I was nervous because I was baring my soul. I was naked in front of the world.’ With this she says her communication with her audiences changed. ‘I became not a person suffering under apartheid but a person dealing with people.’ She went on to perform in Born in the RSA in New York, which earned her an OBIE Theatrical Award (New York). The play was later filmed for BBC Television Channel 4. Mhlope worked as an assistant director for the first time with Barney Simon, working on contract at Brandeis University to create Written by Hand. Performances of Have you seen Zandile? in Edinburgh resulted in an invitation to stage the show in Chicago with an all American cast. From this experience she learnt that she was a capable director and that Zandile was ‘a universal play’, at the same time validating ‘the importance of being me even more’. From 1989-1990 Mhlophe was the resident director of The Market Theatre – the first black woman resident director resulting in ‘loads of publicity’. After a year in the position she found she’d ‘had enough of that’ and needed to take a break from travel, so she took a year off. She approached Mannie Manim to put on a storytelling festival and he leapt at the chance. The weekend festival was sold out, catapulting Mhlophe into her full time storytelling career. She learnt that storytelling ‘opens the connection with people from heart to heart’, providing a flexible means to ‘blend real life stories and stories of long, long ago’. She calls this, ‘touching the past and feeling the future.’ Mhlophe is now one of South Africa’s consummate storytellers, writing scripts, stories ‘that please me’ and also venturing into music writing. She has relished working musically with Bheki Khoza and Pops Mohamed. For the future, this South African creative powerhouse looks to creating more storytelling CDs in Zulu and Xhosa and perhaps redoing the musical, African Mother Christmas. Long term she’d like to ‘frame the passport’, open her own studio in her home, focus on writing more and making movies. ‘There are many real stories to be told – real stories of human beings and not just the South African political background.’ About her ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre she is ‘super grateful for the honour’ saying it ‘feels like yesterday since it all started, I am so blessed’. CF
IMPACT AWARDS CATEGORIES & RECEPIENTS
ACT AWARDS 2010
MESSAGE FROM THE DISTELL FOUNDATION The Distell Foundation is proud to be involved with the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals and we hope that by giving support to young artists through these awards, it will build artistic talent and enhance excellence in the sector. Distell recognises the importance of culture and the creative arts in helping not only to shape the soul of a nation but grow the economy of that nation. By investing in the arts we hope to play an important role in raising standards and spreading interest and appreciation for the South African Arts industry locally and abroad. Congratulations to the Award winners, we wish you all the best as you establish yourself as key players on the arts and culture landscape. IRMA ALBERS | ARTS AND CULTURE CONTROLLER | DISTELL
THE IMPACT AWARD FOR VISUAL ART: MUSA NXUMALO
IMPACT AWARDS ADJUDICATION PANEL ANRIETTE CHORN
Artists working in the mediums of Fine Art, Sculpting, Public Installations and Photography are eligible for nomination. Born in 1986 in Soweto, Musa has a number of successful exhibitions under his belt. This Johannesburg-based artist completed his Foundation and Intermediate photography programmes at the Market Theatre Photo Workshop between 2006 and 2008. He received the Edward Ruiz Mentorship Award in 2008 and recently travelled to the African Photography Biennale in Bamako.
Anriette holds a Masters degree in Music from the University of Durban-Westville where she lectured before joining The Playhouse Company as the Music and Musicals Manager. Later she worked as an arts administrator with the Norwegian-South African Music funding programme and the British Council, managing the Arts & Creative Industries portfolio. She is currently the manager of SAMRO’s Endowment for the National Arts.
THE IMPACT AWARD FOR THEATRE: KYLA DAVIS Artists practising the disciplines of Dance, Acting, Musical Theatre and Physical Theatre are eligible for nomination. The founder and artistic director of Well Worn Theatre, a physical theatre company, Kyla Davis is a committed and passionate theatre practitioner. Her vibrant company, established in 2008, aims to create new and stimulating theatrical work around themes of sustainable and holistic development, social justice and eco-consciousness.
THE IMPACT AWARD FOR MUSIC & SINGING: MONIQUE VAN WILLINGH Classical, Contemporary and Jazz musicians and singers are eligible for nomination. This versatile musician has made her mark performing in various Wind Bands, Orchestras, Chamber and Jazz ensembles as well as Big Bands. Earlier this year Monique scooped the 2010 Fine Music Radio | Pick n Pay Music Award for Jazz. She is currently a member of the National Youth Jazz Band.
THE IMPACT AWARD FOR DESIGN: LIV GREEN DESIGN Artists working in the areas of Craft, Fashion Design, Graphic Design and Web Design are eligible for nomination. LIV Green Design, the company with a conscience, was founded by Danielle Ehrlich and Ewaldi Grové in 2008. The company is focused on sustainable urban design and in 2008 they scooped the Decorex Gold Award. The following year they were awarded the Fleur du Cap and Real Simple Green Innovation Award for Design. 52
LIBÉ FERREIRA Libé has a BA Drama degree and started her career as an actress, working for PACT and the SABC, and touring with SWAPAC. She was nominated for two Artes awards for excellence in language dubbing and has extensive experience as a drama teacher, curriculum planner, casting director, television and film script writer. She is currently a freelance casting director and offers film acting workshops/classes.
DAVID KOLOANE David's commitment to art led him to a full-time teaching position at a township high school, later he became the head of the Fine Art section of the Federated Union of Black Artists (FUBA). He was instrumental in establishing the Fordsburg Artists Studios with Robert Loder and Ricky Burnett. In 1998, the government of the Netherlands honoured him with The Prince Claus Fund Award for his contribution to the development of the visual arts in South Africa. In 2008 he won the ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Art.
JILL WATERMAN Jill is a fifty percent lecturer and researcher at Wits School of Arts, spending the remainder of her working time creating and implementing projects within the arts non-profit sector. Jill's focus areas are Dance/Physical Theatre studies, and Arts, Culture and Heritage Management. At present Jill is preparing to reopen her creative dance and movement practice for adults.
CHRISTINA WIESE Christina is the founder and managing director of Brown Spice Boutique which aims to provide consultancy, curating, marketing, business development, project management and soft skills training services to businesses, with a strong focus on the creative industries. Previously Christina worked for Ernst & Young, Ericsson GmbH, the South African Embassy in Berlin and Software Consulting Services.
Distell Arts & Culture Contact person: Irma Albers, Tel (021) 809-8106 Fax: (021) 887-9169 e-mail: email@example.com website: www.distell.co.za
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BACKSTAGE WITH TENOR
lthough I have no regrets about the way I was brought up, the more I travel the world and meet people, the more I realise that my upbringing could have been a little different. I was brought up in a normal, loving family by parents who wanted only the best for us. I am a very confident, positive and proud South African with quite a strong cultural family background. Amongst many fundamental concepts that my father inculcated in us were the importance of education, independence, financial freedom and freedom of choice. My high school principal did the same at school, and went the extra mile of telling us that ‘only the sky is the limit’. As in most black families, education introduced my family to the practice of what I call ‘a bi-cultural life’. My maternal grandmother was a devoted Christian who taught us love, respect, humility and willingness to share. When armed with this, we were told, achieving anything and everything that we wanted was possible. Growing up in a dusty, ‘desert-like’ Giyani in Limpopo, I felt well-armed to conquer the world and I thought and felt that, with those teachings alone, my world was really complete. Being a professional opera singer has opened many interesting avenues for me, but has also shown me the real world challenges that we are faced with as opposed to the African cultural and traditional idealism I was brought up in. I do not think there is anything wrong with my culture or tradition, but I wish I had also been taught a little arrogance and the much-needed egocentrism that would have better prepared me to tackle these daily challenges. In my eleven years of living in Europe I have learnt that confidence alone is not a good enough weapon to help you succeed. One needs strength and ability to elbow out one’s competitors and detractors, and this can facilitate success in this highly competitive world. I grew up believing the slogan, ‘When one door closes another one will open’. But I have learnt the contrary: no other door will open, it may not happen. So kick down that closed door before the chap behind that door locks it with chains. Further, is ‘half a loaf better than nothing?’ Of course not, either a full loaf or keep their half! With time one learns that being apologetic does not help. I love being in Europe and to some extent I feel at home and happy here, but there is something that irritates me about the Europeans: they never apologise, because they feel they are never wrong. Recently, while doing the role of Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, I got irritated by my Olga because whenever the stage director corrected a scenic mistake, which she had made over
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and over, she would say, ‘Oh, I know! Oh, I know!’ I ended up asking why she kept making the same mistake if she really knew. What a pity that, that most-spokenabout African Renaissance concept in the mid-90s never materialised. Perhaps it would have been a weapon with which we would have been able to conquer the world or at least compete? Sometimes I wish that South Africa had colonised some European countries. Imagine how it would have been if we had colonised Portugal, Greece or Italy? Many times I wish Verdi and Puccini had been Shangaan, that the first-ever opera had been written in Lesotho, that Shakespeare was Afrikaans, Picasso was Venda and Goethe was Xhosa. I say this because I strongly believe that armed with such, South Africans would have weapons with which to justify an arrogance of our own, which we could then clearly exhibit. In my last few articles I complained a bit about how there are not enough opportunities for talent to shine in this country, how our heroes remain unsung, how our history does not seem to inspire us to develop theatrical works about how this and that is not done etc. – work that would help conserve our origins. My wife brought to my attention the other day that perhaps I could do something about it, and not anxiously wait in a little corner somewhere for somebody else to think about it. In short, I have decided that I want to make a difference and that I will make a difference. As I mentioned earlier in my writing, we were brought up and taught to think for ourselves, and one of our democratic government’s preachings has been to teach and show us that we can manage to be independent; that we must be independent in order to improve our own lives and the lives of those around us. December is a very important month to make New Year resolutions, and January is the month we start implementing those resolutions. My resolution is that I would like
to find a way to contribute to the advancement and development of opera in our country. You will agree with me that there has been a huge interest in opera especially among black communities in the last 15 years, and that there is a lot of talent that needs support and nurturing. I strongly believe we can all make a difference, no matter how small the act is! As we close our year and when we enter the new one, let us resolve to further contribute positively to the communities in which we live. Let us look forward to the many challenges that 2011 may bring with it, and let us tackle them with dignity and care. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a fantastic 2011. CF
EMI Mus ic S
outh Afri ca
EMI CLASSICS – A RECORD LABEL ON TOP OF ITS GAME EMI Classics recently confirmed its place as one of the world’s most competitive classical labels by securing several prestigious awards and exclusive contracts with some of the world’s best classical musicians, as CLASSICFEEL found out.
MI Classics and its sister label, Virgin Classics, have been hogging the headlines in the classical music world this year. Through a number of accolades and new or renewed artist signings, the labels have ensured their position at the top of the heap. Last year saw the release of four stunning albums that have dominated classical radio stations, the music press and award ceremonies for the past few months. These are Antonio Pappano’s unsurpassed recording of Verdi’s Messa di Requiem; Thomas Adès’ opera, The Tempest, which was recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato’s collection of arias, Rossini: Colbran, the Muse; and a new complete performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, also conducted by Pappano and featuring Angela Gheorghiu in the title role.
On 13 May, the Classical BRIT Awards ceremony was held at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Gheorghiu was named Female Artist of the Year for her stellar performance of Madama Butterfly, one of the first complete opera recordings to hit the market in quite some time. The Romanian soprano has already distinguished herself as a leading lady in demand at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, London’s Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan and the Vienna State Opera. Her interpretation of Puccini’s tragic heroine has been hailed as setting a new standard for the role for the 21st century in the much the same way as Callas set the standard for the 20th. Thomas Adès, an EMI Classics exclusive artist, received the 2010 Classical BRIT for Composer of the Year. This was in recognition of his well-crafted contemporary opera, The Tempest. The 39-year-old British composer, conductor and pianist won
considerable acclaim and notoriety with his controversial debut opera, Powder Her Face, an explicit account of the scandalous life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, whose sexual exploits, thanks to the British tabloid press, became the stuff of legend during her 1963 divorce proceedings. Emboldened by this first foray into opera, he set to work on a much larger canvas, setting the Bard’s final play to music. The Tempest premiered at Covent Garden in 2004 and continues to run, around the world. In many ways, Adès’ Shakespearean outing is a ‘traditional’ opera. In a time when many composers are experimenting with atonal music and non-linear narratives, Adès created a work that adheres to late Romantic musical and dramatic rules, while still retaining a cutting edge. Another of the label’s exclusive artists, conductor Antonio Pappano, won the Critics’ Award – largely in recognition of his outstanding new rendition of Verdi’s Messa di Requiem. However this was certainly not his only distinguishing achievement of 2009/2010. He also conducted the Gheorghiu Madama Butterfly and a delightful new production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, among other things. Born in England to Italian parents, Pappano made his debut as an operatic conductor in 1987 with La bohème at Den Norske Opera in Oslo, Norway. In 1990 he was appointed Music Director there. That same year he did his first performance at Covent Garden, where he is currently serving as Music Director, a post he has held since 1999. He has gone on to work with most of the best orchestras, and legendary opera houses in Europe. He is also Musical Director for the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. This Roman ensemble has been his orchestra of choice on his EMI Classics recordings. Although Pappano has been performing and recording since 1987, his most recent handful of CDs have cemented his reputation as possibly the best conductor of vocal and choral music working today. At the 2010 Gramophone Awards, held on 1 October in London, his Verdi recording garnered yet another award, this time for the Best Choral Recording. Aside from conducting, Pappano is also a respected pianist. His work as an accompanist was amply showcased through his collaboration with tenor Ian Bostwick on their recording of Hugo Wolf’s Lieder, another EMI Classics release. In recognition of Pappano’s amazing work, EMI Classics renewed his contract on 1 October 2010, extending his exclusive tenure with the label, which has been ongoing since 1995. On sealing the new deal, Pappano said, ‘EMI Classics has provided me with a precious platform to record a wide variety of
repertoire. I have learned so much from the illusive process, and I am constantly fascinated by its possibilities. I am therefore most grateful and excited that the collaboration between EMI and myself continues.’ Eric Dingman, President of EMI Classics Global said, ‘I am thrilled about the continuing partnership with Tony, which will continue to create exceptional, important new recordings, adding great wealth and depth to his existing, acclaimed repertoire on EMI Classics.’ Diva Joyce DiDonato was doubly honoured at the Gramophone Awards. She received the award for Best Recital for her Rossini album – released on Virgin Classics – as well as Artist of the Year. Earlier in the year, she was named Singer of the Year at Germany’s Echo Klassik Awards. The American mezzosoprano, regarded as a specialist in Mozart, Handel and Rossini works, hails from Kansas and began her career in the late 90s singing for a number of regional opera companies. The ‘Yankee Diva’, as she is affectionately known, has been lauded for her remarkable vocal range. London’s The Times describes her voice
as ‘so smooth and agile that it can reach up to a diamond-bright soprano as well as sink to a rich, chesty alto’. Her vocal abilities, combined with a strong, intuitive dramatic sensibility, make her one of the most in-demand opera singers in the world. Although she is best known for singing Baroque, Classical and bel canto works, she has demonstrated a remarkable versatility that also encompasses 20th and 21st century works, including Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O. On hearing of Adès’, Pappano and DiDonato’s wins at the Gramophone Awards, Dingman said, ‘EMI Music heartily congratulates all of this year’s very talented Gramophone winners, and are especially pleased for the recognition bestowed by the Gramophone Awards on Joyce DiDonato, Thomas Adès and Maestro Tony Pappano – we couldn’t be happier for their successes.’ No doubt many classical music aficionados will echo that sentiment, and urge Dingman, his producers and technicians and his stable of committed artists to keep up the good work in 2011 and beyond. CF
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DANCE IN A DIFFICULT YEAR Despite all the Football World Cup™ hype and diminishing arts budgets South African dancers and choreographers still managed to make this a memorable year, writes Adrienne Sichel for CLASSICFEEL.
here’s a mad woman in there,’ shouted someone as we entered the yard of a tiny, corrugated iron, Kliptown house. He was right. When the man in the Zion Christian Church uniform leaning against the wall knocked on the window a woman screamed in Sotho, ‘What do you want?’ A curtain twitched. The angry voice kept demanding an answer. We gave our names and explained that we were there to see a performance. Nothing. The iron door opened a crack then slammed shut. Eventually the distraught woman in her underwear and bright lipstick flashed impossibly frilly pink panties. ‘Is this what you want?’ she screamed, baring buttocks and then pulling out a breast. My unsuspecting companion
Martin van Heerden in the revival of Christopher Kindo’s Me and You at the FNB Dance Umbrella 2010 Gala
shouted ‘No!’ This interaction grew increasingly violent as a knife was brandished and finally, a chamber pot was emptied against the fence right next to where we were standing. The woman was none other than dancer-choreographer Nelisiwe Xaba, assisted by dancer Thami Manekhela, who in this site-specific installation performance was confronting issues around the exotic black body and the voyeurism that happens, not only on the stage, but when tourists visit poor communities. Xaba’s realistic onslaught formed part of the Soweto route of X Homes Johannesburg presented by the Goethe-Institut from 7 to 10 July as part of their FIFA World Cup™ programming. These performances, installed in people’s homes (houses, shacks, flats, and even a boxing gym) in Hillbrow and Kliptown, were curated
Award for Dance, on the Fringe. Major TUT collaborations were with Tshwane Dance Theatre (directed by Esther Nasser) for Redha’s Giselle in Johannesburg and Pretoria; E-Boyz at the Joburg Theatre and Nicola Haskins’ physical theatre work, One-Way, in partnership with the with the University of Pretoria. Physical theatre students at the Wits School of Arts didn’t hold back in Gregory Maqoma’s Mind Game; PJ Sabbagha’s Sexscape (at the Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival) and Tracey Human’s demanding, rigorously dramatic, adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II. Lliane Loot’s Flatfoot Dance Company and its training company kept Durban firmly on the map, off and on the continent, with Sifiso Kweyama’s commissioned Circle, performed in Cameroon (where they reunited with Adedayo Liadi’s Nigerian Ijodee Dance Company for Encounters) and in the Netherlands, where the company completed its three year educational exchange with Introdans. Dutch-based choreographer Daniel Renner’s street-dance flavoured Soulscape, created with Flatfoot for Jomba! was one of the highlights of 2010 dance. Renner’s Red, co-created with Rodney Kasandikromo and the teenaged hip hop and break-
Image Val Adamson
by Germany’s Christoph Gurk and featured South African, as well as international, choreographers, dancers, performance artists and playwrights, visual and video artists. With all the hysteria generated by the football extravaganza it was gratifying to see artists and communities engaged in high calibre artistic projects such as the thrilling X Homes and the French and Gauteng government-backed, The Giant Match which developed out of a residency at the Wits School of Arts. These initiatives, as well as the input of the Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) at the University of Cape Town, provided islands of sanity and beacons of excellence, in a very troubling year for South African dance. Dance Umbrella is now without its long time First National Bank funder, and artistic director, Georgina Thomson is battling to keep this lifeline national dance platform going – it can’t survive without core funding. And while companies who receive National Arts Council support are doing fine work across the country, independent dance makers and performers are battling against the tide of commercialism and a dearth of a visionary cultural policy for the performing arts at national and (most) regional government levels.
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Participants in the collaborative Crossings residency linked continents and artistic genres
That being said 2010 was another watershed year. Tough times tend to bring the best out of creativity and the number of quality experimental works and projects was heartening. Another plus factor was that, although contemporary dance training in this country generally leaves much to be desired, certain institutions have stepped up and are producing versatile performers, dance and theatre makers. The Tshwane University of Technology‘s dance and musical theatre department (TUT) under the directorship of alumnus Debra Gush, travelled with great success to the 12th Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience (in Durban) as well as the National Arts Festival (NAF) in Grahamstown where its Graduation Rites programme won an inaugural Standard Bank Golden Ovation
Flatfoot Dance Company and guest Rodney Kasandikromo (far right) in Daniel Renner’s workshopped Soulscape
dancers from different crews in greater Durban – was another gain for the SA repertory. The other stand-out dance works of the year include Dada Masilo’s neo-African Swan Lake; Ina Wichetrich Mogano’s culturally adventurous, deeply moving, Lovaffair for the mixed ability Remix Dance Company at the Baxter Theatre; Sello Pesa and Ntsoana Dance Theatre’s site specific Limelight on Rites, a commentary on funeral policy rip-offs, outdoors at Jomba!; Boyzie Cekwana’s scathingly political Influx Controls; Neli Xaba’s psychological teaser Black?... White! superbly directed by Toni Morkel; Sbonakaliso Ndaba’s darkly ritualistic First Draught for Jazzart Dance Theatre at Dance Umbrella; Athena Mazarakis’s border shifting elev(i)ate interactive installation, with Tegan
Neli Xaba in her Kliptown installation performance as part of X Homes Johannesburg
Bristow, in the Market Theatre Foyer, at Dance Umbrella, and her choreographed solo, eleve(i)ate 2 in Grahamstown and at the Drama for Life Sex Actually Festival; Thabo Rapoo’s striking Afrofusion ballet Batsumi for Moving Into Dance Mophatong; Acty Tang’s totally engaging autobiographical installation Inscrutable about his Chinese identity on the NAF Main programme; Mamela Nyamza’s conceptually daring Mendi for Jazzart Theatre trainees at Dance Umbrella and Cherice Mangiagalli’s gender swiveling, The Place of the Wo(Man) for the Sibikwa Arts Dance Company men. The prize for the most outrageous shows goes to Mark Hawkins and director Robert Whitehead for the revival of the drag dance spoof Doo Bee Boobies (at the Joburg Theatre Fringe) and I Have Nothing To Wear! The Anti Fashion Show (also featuring Neli Xaba and Toni Morkel) at South African Fashion Week, in Johannesburg. Landmark events were GIPCA’s ‘pre-post-per-form’ colloquium, and performances focusing on interdisciplinary performance and performance art in February; the French Institute of South Africa collaborative, Crossings – the international artistic residency facilitated by Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe and Michel Kelemenis, which twinned choreographers and dancers with composers and lighting designers at The Dance Factory in late July; and the Goethe-Institut and Dance Forum’s national ‘Dance Archive’ workshop in October.
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“2010 was another watershed year” This was in fact a red letter year for collaborations. High on the list is Gregory Maqoma’s Blue Blood (commissioned by the Afrovibes Festival in the Netherlands), a workshopped interaction between legendary Durban musicians Bafo Bafo (Syd Kitchen and Madala Kunene) and Vuyani Dance Theatre dancers, Luyanda Sidiya and Shawn Mothupi. The most accomplished venture was Jay Pather’s Quaphela Caesar! – A Multimedia Massacre of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (born out of the director- choreographer’s 2009 Donald Gordon Creative Award) presented by GIPCA. While the Cape Town City Hall was a frame for the 2010 Spier Contemporary Art exhibition (co-curated by Pather) this historic building became a full-on participant in installation performances in 14 rooms from 18 to 22 September. Layer upon layer of astutely crafted irony, fuelled by our socio-political history, conceptually brilliant African-inspired aesthetics and potent metaphors came alive through the architecture in tandem with the intelligent bodies of Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, Jazzart Dance Theatre, actors Mwenya Kabwe and Mark Hoeben and students from the University of Cape Town schools of dance and opera. This was the perfect way to end a year of inventive dance making. CF
Image courtesy of the Arterial Network
‘ACTIVIST’ IS NOT A SWEAR WORD
Talking to Mike van Graan is like being allowed into a vast intellectual arena where receptiveness to new ideas, critical analysis of arts and culture, forthright honesty, boundless creativity and genuine concern for the industry in South Africa, and throughout Africa as a continent, grapple with each other in a wonderfully dynamic and complex manner. For CLASSICFEEL, Emily Amos interviews this truly intriguing ‘cultural activist’ and theatre practitioner.
ne only wants to engage more with the mind (and the heart) of this not-accidentally celebrated playwright, and arts and culture activist. Asked if he minds these labels, he says he certainly does not, finding them, both ‘an extension of each other’. He is widely renowned for his current work with the Arterial Network; he is the executive director of the African Arts Institute which is based in Cape Town and of course, was largely responsible for the founding of the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) about a decade ago. A special adviser on cultural policy to the new Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, van Graan was intimately involved with the generation of ideas, establishment of and approach towards arts and culture in post-apartheid South Africa: helping to ‘facilitate the drafting of post-apartheid arts and culture policies’ through the National Arts Coalition. Referring to a tenet of the 1955 Freedom Charter, ‘the doors of learning and culture shall be open,’ and Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he feels that government has had a responsibility in the last sixteen years to create the conditions and the infrastructure necessary to make the arts ‘accessible to all’ – a ‘human rights-based’ approach to the industry. He says recent years have ‘seen a shift in practice in the creative industries’ where art is seen to have value only if it has ‘a market’. Van Graan believes that ‘the market’ should not be the final arbiter of the value of art and that, ‘while there is much room for art supported by the market, there is also a deep need for society to have access to art that has other, more intangible value such as providing catharsis, critical questioning and catalysing personal growth.’ Post-apartheid, he says that the artistic space has made room for ‘more complexity, contradiction and irony’. He says, ‘I couldn’t relate to those who didn’t know what to write about after apartheid was gone… Society as a whole is a lot more interesting now than it was in the past.’ It would seem that South Africa is certainly far more fascinating now that creative merit is no longer so intricately tied to a political stance. Van Graan’s playwriting work has seen the Bafana Republic brand rise to the forefront of comedy and satire theatre work, and dramatic works such as the recent Is It Because I’m Jack?, Die Generaal and Iago’s Last Dance not only enthralling audiences but challenging them to think. In fact, van Graan seems to be quietly creating his own unique revolution when it comes to audience buy-in: he often stages readings or rough performances of his scripts precisely to get feedback and criticisms which he can then incorporate into the final product. This approach extends to a creative generosity towards directors of his plays: ‘Ultimately theatre is a collaborative form… I really don’t have a thing about holding onto my work and being precious about it,’ he says. He
does stipulate that he likes to work with directors whom he feels he can ‘entrust’ with his writing. As a playwright he loves to ask, ‘What is of concern to my audience and what is relevant?’ because, as logic would have it, ‘if it doesn’t have relevance then it’s irrelevant.’ Too true. He is also practically analytical of his work, especially with regards to his drama work: ‘It’s not the kind of theatre work that everyone wants to see and I accept that.’ He comments on his writing, agreeing that it feeds ‘an exterior and interior life’ – with his plays often becoming the vehicle whereby he deals with his own personal struggles while at the same time grappling with important issues. He does however, find it bemusing when audience members confuse a character’s voice for his own. His MVG Productions company offers theatre patrons membership of the Theatre Club and/or the Angels Network. The Theatre Club is wonderfully innovative, offering theatrelovers 12 months of MVG Theatre Club membership, which includes two free tickets to one of his plays, discounted or free tickets to other plays facilitated by MVG, participation in readings of new plays and the opportunity to provide feedback amongst other enticing offerings – like a 5-pack of Zapiro cartoon books. Van Graan’s Angels Network seeks to ‘reward’ supporters of his work – supporters are defined as people who can contribute through helping to generate audiences, box office income or providing sponsorship or funding. His motivation behind it is fascinating; for more details go to www.mikevangraan.co.za/ angels-network. Van Graan’s personal initiative is thoughtprovoking particularly if one considers the recent Artsblog entry of National Arts Festival Director, Ismail Mahomed, titled ‘Arts Entrepreneurship Can Smash the Begging Bowl’ which seeks to explore the idea of artists as entrepreneurs who can contribute to economic development (www.artsblog.co.za/?p=643). The Angels Network approach certainly turns the ‘support me, I’m an artist’ mindset on its head, particularly in terms of guaranteeing worthwhile theatrical product and ‘return on investment’ to his supporters – without resorting, as so often happens, to the Department of Arts and Culture or the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund to provide, provide and provide. In essence, Mike van Graan’s approach to theatre is about finding a ‘practice as a sustainable playwright’ and his cultural activism is fuelled by a deep belief in developing arts and culture on the continent of Africa on both a ‘macro and micro level’. To return to the state of theatre in contemporary South Africa, van Graan says on his MVG website, ‘My particular brand of theatre seeks to “speak truth to power” i.e. to pose challenging questions, to highlight contradictions and to present alternatives to the prevailing dogmas about our society-in-transition, as well as to put into the public domain the kinds of issues that those in authority would rather keep below the public radar.’ So be it. CF
Analysing Arts Alive The 2010 Arts Alive International Festival took place in Johannesburg from 2 to 26 September. CLASSICFEEL takes a brief retrospective look at the event. Members of Buskaid and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra perform Stabat Mater – Image: Jan Potgieter
Conductor, Kutlwano Masote Peter and the Wolf at the Zoo
hat makes an arts festival successful in South Africa? Is it attendance and ticket sales, is it audience enjoyment and engagement, is it the development of new and young audiences, is it artist satisfaction and exposure of contemporary work, showcasing of local and international talent or the artistic and social coming together of the citizens of the host city? Arts Alive provides numerous free events across all the regions of Johannesburg so it seems all of the city’s inhabitants had at least the opportunity to enjoy a taste of this year’s arts and culture feast. It certainly was a festival of ‘celebrating
our own’ with local artists, local music, and historic venues, beautiful parks and spaces utilised to utmost capacity for the event. The Arts Alive team also went the ‘extra kilometre’, bussing school children into Newtown to experience the Urban Eyes, Greening Our Lives exhibition at Sci Bono; the FTH:K workshops and Tomorrow’s Joy, the Mary Fitzgerald Square bottle top mosaic installation – ‘bright and bold’ this art piece was and is, a wonderful example of collective work. ‘I am more hopeful that this superb and breathtaking piece of art will remind us that, like we came together in the hosting of the World Cup, we will also work as a collective to drastically
reduce, reuse, recycle and most importantly rethink, the way we purchase and dispose of products in our daily activities,’ said Jenny Moodley from City Parks. Judging from a purely subjective viewpoint, the delighted and enthusiastic comments of one radio reporter to FTH:K’s opening night, which included performances of QUACK! and Wombtide, would mean a definitively positive Arts Alive audience experience. ‘This is how theatre should be!’ she cried, and rushed off to write her comments on FTH:K’s commentary wall. There was most certainly an energetic buzz after the performances, and from those who had never experienced this kind of mime/physical theatre before, a sense of joyous wonderment. Brenda Devar from the Arts Alive management team said the 2010 festival ‘had content for all tastes’, that one measurement of success for the festival is seeing people ‘crossing into new territory’. The Eldos Jazz Festival in Kremetart Park attracted about 9 000 people. ‘This was a fabulous family day out, lots of children – music playing, all in a safe environment,’ said Berenice la Grange. Karl Jenkin’s Stabat Mater performances at the Johannesburg City Hall proved new territory to many, both in terms of the physical space and musical experience. The City Hall is an exquisite venue, easy to get to by car, with great parking and plenty of security – sadly always a consideration for Joburgers venturing out at night. Those who attended were treated to the full glory of the UJ Choir and a 70-piece orchestra which included development musicians from the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble and Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner, Samson Diamond on violin. The singing of the Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek texts by Giselle Bouwer proved spine-tingling. ‘… stupendous performance... It was just awesome… a perfect venue for such a big work,’ commented Ruth Coggin. At Arts on Main, Playing on Image featured films by William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins and Deborah Bell, and music composed by Phillip Miller, with Jill Richards on piano. Presented in two parts, and directed by Gerard Bester, it took the audience on a magnificent musical/ filmic/ visual arts journey. The Wits 969 Festival, which formed part of the Arts Alive programme, proved a mixed bag – Arts Alive front of house were there but a sense of the festival as a whole seemed lacking. According to Devar the challenge for both the Arts Alive and Wits Theatre Complex teams would be to overtly ‘flag the National Arts Festival Ovation Award winners and give them a proper audience’ next year. There are certainly promising developments on the Wits Theatre front with theatre manager, Ashraf Johardien’s drive to radically improve the Wits Theatre experience in the near future. Raiders of the Lost Aardvark, the 21-year-old theatre phenomenon, should have had the crowds packed to capacity at
The Dance Factory but audience attendance was disappointing. Madeleine Wickins, from the Arts Alive management team commented: ‘This could be due to a number of factors, one being that Raiders took place in the final week of Arts Alive with the public holiday weekend of Heritage Day seeing many Joburgers heading out of town.’ One can consider one or two other factors here too: many years into its existence it still feels like The Dance Factory is a little-known gem to wider Joburg audiences; in the heart of Newtown, to many Joburgers it still seems to be a step beyond their comfort zones. The Arts Alive team will be consolidating a smaller, more focused programme in 2011 to ensure improved audience numbers. Peter and the Wolf at the Zoo was an audience success story, which Devar attributes to having a dedicated media partner – Talk Radio 702. Over the two days, about 1 500 people attended the performances, with adults and children relishing this exposure to classical art forms. Jazz on the Lake this year had record crowds but proved slightly controversial with the artist line-up veering away from strictly jazz music. Some jazz lovers found this frustrating but other Joburg residents were highly enthused by the mixed audience (both in age and races), the friendly atmosphere, and artists such as Lira, who seems to have universal appeal and an extraordinary ability to get crowds to ‘party together’. Comedy Nine-Nine saw a different spin on the genre this year with a ‘Cape Town flavoured’ night featuring David Newtown, Stuart Taylor, Mark Palmer, Sivuyile Ngesi (2010 NAF Golden Ovation Award-winner) and local favourite, Tumi Morake. The Alternative Spaces Community Theatre Revival saw exciting new work produced. ‘I feel honoured to be part of the process that will build new generations of actors, writers and directors,’ said Samu Mfuphi. Overall Arts Alive seems to have enabled participants to deliver a theatre experience which provides a sense of occasion enhanced by professional technical support: ‘We are revitalising something that is so crucial at a community level,’ says Devar. Having a longer term legacy after the festival, now that the performances have come and gone, visual art works such as the Ouma Groetjie mural in Fordsburg and the work of the Urban Eyes, Greening Our Lives schoolchildren will continue to delight the artistic eye. Finally, while Arts Alive is billed as a ‘gift to the city by the city’ it should perhaps also be seen as a ‘challenge to the city by the city’. Joburg residents should be ‘bold enough to make the journey’, to sit up, take notice and grab this magnificent annual opportunity to explore arts and culture in their own backyard. CF
Investing DEMYSTIFIED Everybody wants to build up a good investment portfolio but not many people are really sure how to go about it, seeing it as a complex process that seems to require a degree in economics to carry out successfully. Jean Lombard, Head of Business Integration and Research at Glacier by Sanlam, seeks to break this perception with a simple, six-step, portfolio building process that demystifies investment.
ossibly the biggest challenge facing investors is the incredible amount of choice available to them. When faced with such a plethora of options with regard to what types of funds, schemes or trusts to include in one’s portfolio and how to spread one’s money over the portfolio, it’s no wonder that many people find investment somewhat confusing and intimidating. According to Jean Lombard of Glacier by Sanlam however, the main reason for the confusion is that people tend to try and short circuit the process. ‘One of the biggest mistakes people make,’ he says, ‘is that the first thing that they ask is, “What fund should I invest in?” ’ As becomes clear when Lombard explains the six-step investment process, it is by asking this question that potential investors are skipping ahead to Step Four and considering investment decisions before they have even determined what they can afford to invest, and how much risk they are able and willing to take. Once this has been determined, then the decision of how and where to invest becomes much clearer and simpler. ‘The process is relatively simple,’ Lombard says. ‘That doesn’t mean it’s easy – but it works.’ ‘There is a six-step process that is used to construct a portfolio that is appropriate to most clients’ needs,’ Lombard explains. ‘The first thing a client needs to do is to determine their risk profile. This is the most important step, which will determine the characteristics and performance of the portfolio. We typically talk of five risk profiles: conservative, cautious, moderate, moderately aggressive and aggressive. Conservative profiles have very little fluctuation in terms of value, so the risk is lower but, in general,
so are the returns. Aggressive portfolios, on the other hand, are more volatile but you expect to be compensated for that volatility with higher returns.’ There are two important factors in determining which risk profile a client will fit into: how much risk the client is comfortable with and how much risk the client can afford. In this way, the adviser builds up a subjective risk profile that is tailormade to the individual client’s needs and financial capabilities. One risk profile is not ‘better’ than another. It’s simply a matter of determining which one would perform best in terms of what you want and what you are comfortable with. Once the client’s risk profile has been determined, the second step is the strategic allocation of the client’s assets. By this process, clients and their advisers determine how and where money is to be allocated across the major asset classes: cash, bonds, property, equity and foreign assets. The risk profile will determine the proportions in which money is spread across these asset classes. Lombard explains, ‘A conservative client will have predominantly money market (or cash) and bond investments with very little equity investment, while an aggressive investor will typically have most of the assets allocated to equities and foreign investments and very little in money market or bonds.’ The strategic asset allocation provides the guideline, the recommended minimum and maximum proportions in which assets should be allocated to each class. Step Three, tactical asset allocation, is the process of distributing funds across the portfolio in a more specific and active way. In this way, the client and his or her adviser can examine the specifics of the market and
decide which asset classes, according to their current valuations, would be best for a greater or lesser exposure. Funds are then increased (overweighted) or decreased (underweighted) within specific classes based on how well each class is expected to perform, and within the recommended guidelines determined by the asset allocation strategy. Even with aggressive risk profiles, says Lombard, this is a planned and methodical approach to investment that helps prevent ‘double or nothing’ gambles and other emotional investment decisions. Once your risk profile is determined and you have decided on an asset allocation strategy and adjusted it according to market trends, finally you come to Step Four: fund selection. This is the step that many new investors want to jump into without going through the first three steps. ‘According to international research,’ Lombard says, ‘the strategic asset allocation accounts for 85 to 95 per cent of the portfolio’s long-term return. Selecting the correct asset class is much more important than selecting the right fund within the asset class.’ Now that you know how your funds should be distributed across your portfolio, you can decide where those funds should be invested. It is in this
“Possibly the biggest challenge facing investors is the incredible amount of choice available to them”
step that decisions are made as to precisely which funds should be invested in. Once you have come through the first four steps, you can now begin constructing the portfolio, which is Step Five. Now the plan is put into practice and tested against the client’s risk profile to ensure that the right decisions have been made. Step Six consists of monitoring the portfolio to ensure that it is performing according to plan and also to make adjustments to it as the client’s risk profile changes. As the client’s age, income and financial needs change, so does his or her risk profile. For example, a younger investor may choose an aggressive risk profile but as that same investor gets close to retirement age, he or she will most likely adopt a more conservative approach, and so the portfolio would have to be altered accordingly. As Lombard emphasizes, this process doesn’t necessarily make investment easy, but it does break it up into simpler, clearly delineated steps that make it easier for the investor to understand the process and for the adviser to create a portfolio suited to each client’s needs and monitor it accordingly for the best possible performance. CF
Jean Lombard, Head of Business Integration and Research at Glacier by Sanlam.
The Economics of Art I With interest in investing in art continuing to rise, auctioneers Stephan Welz & Co. recently hosted a well-attended panel discussion on ‘The Economics of Art’. Toby Orford of Webber Wentzel Attorneys, Gordon Massie of Artinsure, Robert Judelsohn of Credit Suisse and art collector Dr Fred Scott discussed several areas of interest to the potential investor. This month CLASSICFEEL reports back on the first two topics covered – investment objectives and the importance of valuations. Image © wikimedia
Rembrandt van Rijn, Woman Bathing in a Stream, 1654
ccording to Toby Orford, who began the panel discussion regarding investment objectives, art remains a very important strategic and stable investment opportunity, offering ‘good, modest gains over a period of time’ – and the occasional, rare spectacular return – as well as providing a safe way to store wealth. Robert Judelsohn later supported this claim with figures taken from the Mei Moses Art Index and the S & P (Standard & Poor) 500, noting that for the most part art had held its own over the last few decades, at times eclipsing the performance of stocks and shares. Judelsohn stated that art needs to be looked at as a separate category of investment, forming an ‘intrinsic part’ of an international portfolio – he repeatedly emphasized the importance of diversifying one’s investment portfolio: hence the value of investing in art and art stock as an alternative category. Gordon Massie spelled out three ways in which a would-be investor might go about investing in art. First, through an art fund, i.e. by purchasing share certificates in a unit trust (no doubt an excellent way of diversifying one’s portfolio, but lacking all the pleasures of actually owning an artwork). Second, through an art investment syndicate, wherein a group of like-minded investors join together to purchase high end art; and finally, as a personal investor, combining investment with a love of art. Massie noted that quick returns on investment in art are difficult, citing an estimated six to nine year period for old masters, and ten to twelve years for contemporary (post 1960s) works needed in order to reap ‘serious returns’. He later added that art is not a liquid investment, comparing the acquisition and disposal of art to that of property – requiring around six months – and concluding therefore that art should only form part of a portfolio, as previously stressed by Judelsohn. Both Orford and Massie stated that more information regarding the South African art market needed to be compiled in order to clarify investment objectives. Finally, Dr Fred Scott approached the topic from the perspective of the collector: while the investor aims to exploit
the appreciation in financial value of art works, he noted that the collector is motivated rather by an ‘instinctive appreciation’ of the work, and is likely to base his or her choices on a more emotional assessment. However, not all ‘artworks’ are investment pieces – a would-be investor cannot simply venture out and buy any work that he or she happens to like in the hope that its value will appreciate – on the contrary, most new work will not, in all likelihood, retain any financial value. Rephrasing the topic to ‘What should I buy?’, Scott therefore advised would-be collectors and investors to consider two factors, namely the artist or their agent’s ability to present works and to build a market, and repeat sales of work on a secondary market – primarily by checking auctions so as to ascertain what people are prepared to pay for works of a given kind. Having looked at investment objectives, the panel moved on to the second topic of the evening – a discussion regarding the importance of valuations. Once again, Orford launched the topic by establishing three main reasons for valuations: for tax purposes, estate management and for insurance purposes. Regarding this last
“Gordon Massie spelled out three ways in which a would-be investor might go about investing in art”
point, artworks can sometimes appreciate considerably in value – Gordon Massie pointed out that €50 invested in an Irma Stern painting eleven years ago could today be worth around €1 800. Not having work properly insured puts one’s investment at risk. Moreover, having work evaluated is not costly and easily available, as various professionals can perform this function. Robert Judelsohn advised that when finding someone to value works, the collector should check that that person has the necessary experience and qualifications, and that there are no conflicts of interest. As the South African art market remains largely unregulated, there are instances where one finds a single individual taking on all roles – i.e. valuer, collector, auctioneer etc. – which is problematic for obvious reasons. When in doubt, added Jack Rosewitz of Stephan Welz and Co., seek a second opinion. All in all, investing in art appears to be a worthwhile pursuit, and one that potentially offers a great deal more enjoyment than more typical investment choices. However, as with all investing, it requires that the would-be investor does his or her homework, and then takes the necessary care in protecting and nurturing that investment. CF
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Chagall® / © Dalro 2010, L'Ange du Judgement, 1974 (The Angel of Judgement), Lithographic Interpretationon paper (ref. CS 45), signed by Marc Chagall, annotated "EA" (Artist's proof) (engraver: Charles Solier), 52 x 43 cm
CHAGALL COMES TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
Spanning almost a century, Marc Chagall’s lifetime encompassed a time of discrimination and anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire (where he was born in Vitebsk in Belarus), and two World Wars, the second of which saw the Nazi regime’s attempt to obliterate the Jews. As such, Chagall – described as ‘the quintessential Jewish artist’ by art critic Robert Hughes – was no stranger to the realities of injustice.
n October this year, three of the artist’s works were donated to the Constitutional Court’s art collection, the ongoing legacy of now retired justice Albie Sachs. According to Meret Meyer, Chagall’s granddaughter and vice president of the Comité Marc Chagall in Paris, the donation is the eventual outcome of a meeting between Sachs and her sister, Bella Meyer in New York ten years ago. Sachs, says Meyer, told her sister about the building of the Constitutional Court at the site of the old jail ‘using the stones that had been witness to apartheid’s atrocities and injustices, so that the building reflects the urge of memory, respect and justice within the daily confrontation of young democracy,’ she recalls. ‘At the same time, he mentioned his vision to develop an art collection to be housed in the same building and expressing the same moral values… My sister Bella was very much impressed by this project as our grandfather, Marc Chagall had fought throughout his life and work against injustice: making art and speaking the language of art was his contribution to try to make the world better.’ Also ten years ago, the first monographical exhibition of Chagall in South Africa took place, organised by the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg under the patronage of the Embassy of France. Curated by Alan Crump, ‘The exhibition was very successful and the educational program exceptional,’ says Meyer, which she attributes in part to the resonance between Chagall’s work and South Africa’s concern with ‘problems of exile, memory and love’, themes repeatedly addressed by the artist. ‘Emigration and exile are not only embedded and revealed themes in Chagall’s work, but more so the faith which has nourished the necessity to keep the love for life alive and to make the research of the Jewish identity through the artist’s voice universally palpable and understandable,’ says Meyer. ‘The vocabulary for war and peace, for injustice and justice, for hate and love are individually different, but the emotions and the sounds expressed constitute the parallelism and the correspondence between South Africa’s history and Marc Chagall’s wish to speak through his works about different aspects of the world.’ During numerous visits to the country following the Chagall exhibition, Meyer began an ongoing discussion with Crump and Sachs regarding a possible donation to the yet-tobe-built Constitutional Court. Meyer pays tribute to Crump, who passed away in early 2009, saying that he was instrumental
to the process, ‘transmitting his understanding and his love for South Africa’. Their meetings finally bore fruit last year, when three of Chagall’s works were shipped to Johannesburg with the help of the French Embassy: they now grace the walls outside the Judges’ Chambers. According to Meyer, the three pieces were chosen both for their strong colours, and as a meaningful trilogy. ‘The lithographical interpretation of Chagall’s The Magic Flute of Mozart (Metropolitan Opera, NY 1967) was chosen as a centre piece, predominantly blue-green with yellow and a little red,’ she explains. ‘Chagall’s conception focused on Mozart’s grand conception and to a logic beyond rational explanation, onto abstraction of nature in the most profound sense. The animals which come out of the forest to hear Tamino’s flute of transformation are lions, snakes and unidentifiable figures, among which is a half-man, half-bird figure, very familiar within Chagall’s iconography: Chagall wished to create happiness with light and radiating colours which are liberated of all tumults and conflicts on earth.’ Angel with Chandelier – a lithographic interpretation in dark blue created for the inauguration of the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice in 1973 – was chosen to go on the left. This depicts ‘an angel with a gentle human face carrying a huge chandelier bringing light and hope to the world’. Finally, Angel of Judgment – a lithographic interpretation in dark ochre created for the first annual exhibition at the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice in 1974 – was selected to go on the right. This depicts ‘an angel with double profile reflecting all antagonisms of nature to be judged on and above, an angel covering and protecting the act of judgment’. Meyer remembers her grandfather with both reverence and fondness. ‘When we were adolescents, our grandfather… was continuously working and focused on his work without being interested in success and glory but in accomplishing his wish to get pictorial answers to his interrogations,’ she says. ‘… The combination of painting (which made me dream) and personal discipline especially fascinated me as a child and adolescent. Later I did understand that there was no contradiction but an interdependence between them.’ Today, in her role as vice-president of the Comité Marc Chagall in Paris, she describes herself as ‘even more privileged to share his work by underlining the validity and modernity of his universal values’. CF
Image ÂŠ Eric Bourret 2010, Cradle of Humankind, Photograph
What do we really know about landscape?
One could be forgiven for mistaking Eric Bourret’s large, predominantly black and white images for works in charcoal – perhaps by Kentridge or Jackson Pollock – so textured and painting-like are his photographs. While some of them remain resolutely enigmatic, many of them gradually give way to an understandable image – a silhouetted tree, swathes of grass, a landscape entered and encountered through movement – a movement captured through the photographer’s lens, and transmitted to a motionless viewer.
n the invitation of the French Institute of South Africa and the Nirox Foundation, Bourret spent two months in residence at Nirox at the end of 2009, hiking constantly through the Cradle of Humankind (he is repeatedly referred to as a ‘walking photographer’) and capturing the landscape on film. His forays are portrayed in two types of photographs: the first, typical of Bourret’s work, are virtually abstract, while the second are clear, detailed portrayals of the burnt grass, stones and fallen branches found at his feet – the 21st century traces overlying an ancient earth. These last make up what Bourret refers to as ‘a kind of jigsaw’, pictured in ‘medical, archaeological’ detail and relying on the viewer to compose into a whole – i.e. the ground trodden underfoot. According to Bourret, they are a response to the significance of the Cradle of Humankind, their documentary style harking to ‘archaeological sites, excavations, digs’. Although they appear to be black and white, unlike Bourret’s large scale works they are in fact captured in a subtle suppressed colour. These images are displayed on the floor, forcing the viewer to lean over and move around to make them out – they cannot be viewed entirely passively. Thus Bourret forces his audience to bring motion to his motionless images. His large scale, more abstract works make no such claims on the viewer. Instead, the images themselves incorporate and convey the movement of the photographer as he strides into the landscape. Despite their apparently enigmatic quality, they are, in a sense, supremely literal, in that they capture what the eye of the beholder sees as he or she moves forward, before the brain unifies it into an apparently fluid reality. Everything is blurred by vibration; an effect Bourret achieves by exposing several successive shots onto a single negative while walking, freezing time and movement into the image. He compares the resulting image to a mandala, saying that each exposure in a series captures ‘the same point of view, but not the same view’. This technique means that Bourret himself has no idea exactly what he has photographed, until the image is revealed – leaving an uncertain, random element to the work. The landscape, as much as the photographer, determines the outcome. On the one hand, these images are concerned with a completely physical reality: time, space, movement and the relationship of the body to the landscape it navigates. However, Bourret also compares his work to x-ray images, capturing the ‘resonances’ and ‘vibrations’
What do we really know about landscape?
Image © Francki Burger
of the surroundings; he describes it as concerned with a reality both ‘biological and philosophical’. He also alludes to the changing perception a person has of a landscape, walking a long distance and moving through it over an extended period of time, an evolving vision – what and how one views one’s surroundings at the outset changes as one continues to walk. Why does Bourret work almost exclusively in black and white? This, he explains, is predominantly for aesthetic reasons – the use of black and white unites the image into a single, harmonious whole, whereas the same technique executed in colour could be extremely jarring. Bourret illustrates his priorities by referring to American musicians John Cage and Morton Feldman; while John Cage creates a work according to certain ideas without any regard for the beauty – or lack thereof – of the result, for Feldman, aesthetic value remains a valid consideration. Bourret sympathises with the latter, and his works are, indeed, beautiful – from the random results produced by his expeditions, he selects those that display a sense of having been composed. The two photographic approaches used by Bourret in surveying the Cradle of Humankind thus document different yet complementary aspects of the landscape; the microcosm and the macrocosm; the small detail and the big picture; and the physical and emotional experience of being immersed within one’s surrounding as opposed to the carefully observed, intellectual perception of a separate object. CF
Praรงa de Touros II 2008 Archival pigment ink on cotton rag paper Paper size 112 x 163cm Edition of 5 + 2AP
IN SEARCH OF
Images courtesy of Michael Stevenson, Cape Town
Attraction/repulsion, male/female, animal/human – these are the binaries with which Nandipha Mntambo is predominantly concerned. CLASSICFEEL’S Natalie Watermeyer spoke to the 2011 winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts about her enigmatic – and sometimes eerie – creations.
hus far, Nandipha Mntambo is probably best known for her work with cowhide. Given that her art engages frequently with mythology, it is appropriate that the story behind these pieces begins with a dream. ‘I had this dream, and all I had left was the hide of [cows],’ she recalls. ‘So I decided to look for a cowhide supplier, and was lucky enough to find a taxidermist at the same time, who works for Iziko museums. He taught me a tanning process where, once the hide is tanned it becomes really hard and rigid.’ This discovery tapped neatly into Mntambo’s interest in forensic pathology, a career path that she chose to abandon when she realised that she didn’t really fancy spending her days working with dead bodies; it also opened up a labyrinth of ideas, stories and mythology surrounding the bull, one that the artist has spent the last several years exploring. In the beginning, says Mntambo, ‘There was this fascination with the lack of body hair that made you more attractive as a woman. So I was thinking around this idea of how people would react to a completely hairy female form – to shift ideas of how we understand the female body, how we understand beauty, how we understand what we’re attracted to. I started making moulds of myself and eventually worked with my mom, and stretched the hide over the moulds. So I kind of create hairy, life-sized women.’ Some of these forms are attractively furry, tempting viewers to run their hands through the thick, appealing fuzz. At the same time, the other side of the hide is distressingly organic, a reminder of death and ‘it doesn’t smell very neutral either – it smells like tanning, it smells like cow, like meat,’ says Mntambo. Confronted with these works, viewers have sometimes leapt to one of two assumptions. ‘People thought I had to be male – I guess because of the fact that there are very few female sculptors, maybe, and the fact that working in leather or hide is quite a physically demanding thing,’ she says. ‘And that was interesting, that there were these compartments that people like to use to make themselves feel more comfortable about a situation or to make themselves understand it a little bit better; so that whole male/female [issue] – and how we determine it – came from that.’ While ignorance of Mntambo’s identity led some to assume that she was male, knowing that she was black, and African, led others to view her work through a particular – and to Mntambo, a frustratingly limited – prism. ‘When I didn’t really have the language to explain what I wanted people to experience or see or think about when they were looking at my work, I was relying a lot on feedback from critics… and there was this perpetual need to... reduce [the work] into something that had to do with my culture, my background, my colour,’ she says. ‘But cowhide is a material, just like photography is a particular medium. What if I’d chosen to work in paper? Would there have to be some African link to the paper that I happened to be using?’ Encountered within an African context, Mntambo’s combination of cowhide and female form is ripe with possible allusions and references. Her work – ironically, given its morbidity – takes on a life of its own in generating meanings possibly unintended by the artist. Some
Nandikeshvara 2009 Cowhide, cows' hooves, resin, polyester mesh, waxed cord 183 x 110 x 26cm
critics have interpreted her work as commenting on lobola, the status of women, and issues of wealth and power; but as she points out, ‘cowhide is a universal material – leather is a universal thing that people throughout all civilisations have a connection to. We use the by-products of cows – we eat them… Why the immediate assumption that it has to be linked to some kind of African [context]? ... I’m not trying to divorce it from its African presence, but it’s not its only point of reference.’ For some time now, says Mntambo, she has been ‘living out of a suitcase’, travelling in an attempt to locate herself in a world where individual identity – bombarded by a multitude of cultural influences – is no longer defined by one’s original cultural group. Mntambo says she is unsure of what it means to be ‘African’
at all; hence the reluctance to have her work interpreted solely with regard to African ideas. One of her first point of references is, in fact, Greek – the monstrous ambiguity of the Minotaur. Tracking the beast has led her across cultures, to the boundary between human and animal as it appears in Hindu and Egyptian mythologies, where, she says, ‘there are references to shape shifting; people being able to be one thing in a moment and something else in another.’ ‘My best friend lived in India for two years. One day she called me and she said, “Nandi, there is a bull called Nandi in India”… I had totally forgotten about it, but for my last show I was drawn to white cowhide. I had always worked in quite dark, either black or brown, hide – but for some reason I was drawn to lighter hides. So I started making a body of work and... the Nandi bull came back into my mind; I started investigating and realised that this bull is actually a white bull; one that Shiva would ride into battle. Nandi, at some point, became so full of himself that Shiva, in trying to teach him humility, crippled him; so now he’s the guardian of Shiva’s temples.’ ‘At the same time I’d been thinking about protection, armour, a fight and bullfighting. So from something that happened a year ago I’d made an aesthetic choice that somehow linked to the context of this particular bull in Hindi culture, and at the same time linked to my interest in bullfighting, and also to the interest in the Minotaur, in the animal/human, and to the Apis bull in Egypt... There are so many connections that I didn’t actively look for.’ While travelling pathways opened up through each serendipitous discovery, Mntambo also progressed in new directions technically. Her cowhide pieces, formerly quite stiff in appearance – ‘like an outer crust or shield or protection,’ she says – are evolving in a way that that makes them appear more fluid, more movable. ‘Now, the way I’m dealing with [hide] – although still rigid, in the way I drape it or put it all together – instead of making a simple female form, I start dealing with pleating, making folds and creases. It looks like it could be potentially a flowing garment, but it isn’t, because it’s quite rigid.’ She has also ventured into other media. Her recent work includes a video piece featuring herself performing within an eerily deserted bullfighting arena in Maputo, as well as photographic works. While completing a residency in the United States, she is also experimenting with painting, among other things. Mntambo has come a long way since graduating with a Masters degree from Michaelis in 2007, taking part in numerous exhibitions, both group and solo, and picking up several noteworthy awards – achievements that have culminated in her winning the 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist for Visual Arts. Following the Minotaur is a dangerous business; but for Mntambo, it has also been a fruitful one. CF
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Pongrácz, Images courtesy of 0ONGR¸CZ
SOUTH AFRICA’S MOST ADORED CAP CLASSIQUE
Carrie Adams, from Norman Goodfellows Fine Wine & Spirit Merchants, delves into the delights of Pongrácz.
n 2000 the successful merger of Stellenbosch Farmers’ Wineries (SFW) and Distillers Corporation made way for the biggest liquor conglomerate in South Africa, Distell. Both companies already had very established brands in the form of wines and spirits, and the merging of the two made way for a liquor giant distributing such icons as Allesverloren, Sedgwicks Old Brown Sherry, Fleur du Cap, Grünberger, Graça, Chateau Libertas – the list goes on. In the sparkling department there was JC Le Roux, Grand Mousseux and of course, then came Pongrácz! The brand is named after a Hungarian nobleman, Desiderius Pongrácz, who came to South Africa as a political refugee, along
with Julius Lazlo. Both of these men contributed enormously to the South African wine industry. Desiderius was well known for his love of art, music and viticulture and, together with Lazlo, imparted a fresh energy to the South African wine industry where he presided as the chief viticultural adviser at Distillers for an entire generation. Today, the cellarmaster at Nederburg is none other than Razvan Macici who is of Romanian descent, so the Eastern European influence at Distell continues. South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) or bottlefermented sparkling wines are made according to the traditional Méthode Champenoise method. Cap Classique wines are made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and Desiderius Pongrácz was, in his time, instrumental in establishing the classic Champagne grape varietals in the Cape. The Pongrácz Cap Classique has enjoyed considerable success in 2010 winning best Non-vintage at the 2010 Wine Magazine Amorim Cap Classique Challenge – a major accolade considering that the judging panel included two adjudicators from Champagne and Rheims in France. This Cap Classique is as elegant as it is stylish and has a wonderful foaming mousse and persistent bead. It is set apart by crisp green apple tones and the nuttiness of freshly baked bread. The Pongrácz range of bubbly was launched in 2001 and this year we have been treated to a delightful, playful mouthful of frothy pink bubbles in the form of the Rosé. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir go into the blend to offer a fabulous explosion of red fruit, laced with a touch of straw and brioche. The Pongrácz Rosé was also recognised for its excellence at the 2010 Wine
Magazine Amorim Cap Classique Challenge winning Best Rosé. This Rosé is enchantingly dry with a beautiful salmon hue. It has also just been launched in an eminently sophisticated 1.5 litre magnum presented in an exquisitely designed gift tin. Desiderius Pongrácz is the signature Méthode Cap Classique in the Pongrácz range; delightfully elegant, it has been lauded as a South African sparkling wine to rival French Champagne. The ‘mature character’ of the 2002 Desiderius Pongrácz was also lauded at this year’s Wine Magazine Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, making the Panel Chairman’s Choice as an ‘Investment Cap Classique’. At the 2010 Michelangelo International Wine Awards, this Pongrácz also won an MCC gold medal – one of only three awarded. Fifteen international judges sat on the judging panel of the 2010 Michelangelo International Wine Awards seeking to identify wines that will do well in international wine markets. In addition to this gold medal, the Desiderius Pongrácz added another gold medallion to its name at the eighth annual Tri Nations Wine Challenge judged in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. The Pongrácz Cap Classique range is ‘truly a tribute to Desiderius Pongrácz, a man whose noble character, tenacity and wit served as the inspiration, and whose life’s work made it all possible.’ I can’t think of a better way to see out 2010 and usher in 2011! Carrie Adams is a partner at Norman Goodfellows Fine Wine & Spirit Merchants which can be found at 192 Oxford Road in Illovo (011 788 4814), Melrose Arch (011 684 2756) and Hyde Park Shopping (011 325 6462). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. CF
La Motte. Redefined. With the advent of summer there are exciting new developments at the La Motte estate in the Franschhoek Valley.
he estate’s renewal programme, ‘La Motte. Redefined.’ includes the opening of the Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant, which offers ‘Cape Winelands Cuisine’, the La Motte Museum and the La Motte Farm Shop. Following the 2009 rebuilding of the La Motte wine tasting facilities which included a new tasting room; these further additions to the estate should provide for an enriched La Motte experience for visitors. The tasting centre was completely redesigned and refurbished and it now welcomes guests with a friendly ambience offering seating at hand-made tasting tables or on comfortable sofas. Guests have a view of the working wine cellar and maturation cellar through huge glass windows. Tasting Room visitors are able to sample and purchase La Motte’s range of award-winning wines amidst original works of art by Pierneef, after whom La Motte’s premium wine range is named. La Motte is currently owned by Hanneli RupertKoegelenberg, daughter of the late Dr Anton Rupert, and run by her husband, Hein Koegelenberg. The estate has been in the family since 1970. The family has a long history of interest in the South African artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886 - 1957), and the restaurant was inspired by the artistic creativity of this master of the visual arts. Known for his breathtaking renderings of the South African landscape the restaurant seeks to capture Pierneef’s work using natural wood with a light, tasteful and fresh style of interior decoration. Set in beautiful, tranquil gardens and among majestic oak trees the building design by Sakkie Rust, from Malherbe Rust Architects, sees the restaurant inviting the outdoors in. Designed with contemporary taste in mind, the overall design theme is nevertheless Cape Dutch, paying tribute to South African architectural heritage. Intriguing, innovative light pieces dance above diners’ heads and should prove a focal point of interest – familiar traditional ‘blue and white’ crockery re-used in a playful way. The Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant should thoroughly delight visitors during the summer festive season. The restaurant has a unique offering in the form of ‘Cape Winelands Cuisine’ which pays homage to South Africa’s culinary heritage. Embracing the country’s multicultural influences La Motte’s ‘Cape Winelands Cuisine’ is inspired by centuries of creativity in cooking. Chris Erasmus is tasked with bringing visitors a uniquely South African fine dining experience, which follows on from South Africa’s ‘boerekos’ tradition; matching this food experience
with La Motte’s wines of excellence. This cuisine has a rich history dating from the food cultures of the ancient Romans, Arabs and 17th century Europe, and its South African culinary footprint began in the Cape through the Dutch, Flemish, German and Huguenot settlers. As the country developed so too did its cuisine; over the years the culinary cultures of the British and Malay have influenced South African tastes. Erasmus’s own food heritage stems from his own Karoo cooking experience, preparing meals with his mother and discovering organic produce. He brings his intensive knowledge of preparing food for himself: of preserving jams, butchering meat and making jellies, biltong and tripe. Erasmus will be creating home-made, home-style food with a La Motte flavour twist. Having been sated by the ‘Cape Winelands Cuisine’ on offer at the restaurant, the La Motte Museum provides visitors with a fascinating look at the history of the Rupert family, the La Motte estate and owner, Hanneli Rupert’s classical music career. Continuing the Pierneef theme, arts lovers are in for a treat with a display of part of the family collection previously owned by Pierneef’s daughter, Marita. A selection of works by other South African artists can also be seen. The La Motte Farm Shop specialises in a range of signature bread enticing guests with the irresistible flavour of fresh, farmbaked bread. For those who feel they only have time for tea, the wide ‘stoep’ offers a space to relax, indulging in tea, coffee and home-baked cake. The Farm Shop offers a delectable array of take-home reminders of the estate, such as the complete range of La Motte wines, wine-related gifts and Hanneli Rupert’s CDs. Situated in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Cape Winelands, the La Motte estate is home to some of South Africa’s finest wines, recognised internationally for their exceptional quality. They produce award-winning red and white wines, as well as a Méthode Cap Classique (Brut), and are best known for their Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc. Cape Winelands visitors can now enjoy an enchantingly redefined experience on this picturesque estate of historic buildings set in a rural atmosphere with art, architecture, and food and wine experiences to match. La Motte is situated on the R45 Hoofstraat / Main Street, Franschhoek. Concert information is available on their website at www.la-motte.com or tel: 021 876 8000. CF
Images courtesy of La Motte
…or so it should be in the holiday season, writes Victor Strugo.
ivilisation seems to have come full circle. In prehistoric times, Neanderthals evaded the perils of man-eating fauna by seeking shelter in caves where they could eat ‘indoors’ in relative safety. Now, perhaps to get away from the equally stressful influences of traffic, television and technology, Homo sapiens feels a compelling urge to eat alfresco. We have, if you will, evolved from the Kromdraai Conservancy into a Krombraai Conspiracy. This return to nature seems to have been invented by that most civilised of gastronomic cultures, the French. They first
coined the word ‘pique-nique’ in print in 1692. Its most famous representation in art is also French. Edouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe depicts a naked lady, surrounded by pompous-looking men who seem oblivious to the tantalising possibilities offered by the occasion. Why don’t I ever get invited to such picnics? Even in fiction, picnics don’t always turn out for the best. When EM Forster dispatched Mrs Moore’s party to the Malabar Cave, things went awry after queasy Miss Quested almost choked on her fourth pakora and horrendously misinterpreted Dr Aziz’s innocent Heimlich manoeuvre.
To make a modern ‘Pique-Nique’ enjoyable, one must first peel away the Mystique and get to the Technique. It requires a powerful Physique to tote a moveable feast made heavier still by the Three C’s of Civilisation: cutlery, crockery and Champagne. And whoever packs the picnic inevitably falls prey to Murphy’s Law: the further you go, the more items you’ll have forgotten. A picnic is really a Triple-P Triangle: the tedious way is to bring two elements (picnic and people) to the third (place). The enlightened way is to bring only yourself and leave it to the place to provide everything – ideally a place with such marvellous elements as congenial farm hospitality, menus by Bruce Robertson, Warwick estate wines and the small matter of a heavenly Stellenbosch mountain vineyard backdrop. Sharing a marvellously restored old building with their tasting room, Warwick Wine Estate has built an informal restaurant that has inside- and terrace-seating and also prepares three picnic boxes: a simple Kiddie Box containing survival basics for the Ritalin brigade (sandwich, chips, juice, jelly & fruit) and two gourmet adult packs, one of which is entirely vegetarian. These goodies may be enjoyed in four settings. First up are tree-shaded tables in a courtyard that will have you consulting
your map, wondering how you ended up in a part of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. People even play pétanque here. Soon they’ll be pitching up wearing berets and puffing Gitanes. The heart of the venue, dotted around the garden and its child-proofed dam, consists of eight spacious and completely private Picnic ‘Pods’ where nature and comfort achieve a splendid harmony between a wooden platform and bamboo roof. All have long benches, a solid wooden table with a central sunken ice-bucket for drinks and siesta cushions scatter the floor. Windward sides are sheltered. Individually named after wines and significant farm figures, the pods accommodate 8 to 15 people and must be pre-booked. Overflow visitors can take their picnics on the expansive lawns. Fourth choice is the appealingly exclusive and utterly enchanting ‘Penthouse’, high up on the estate among the vineyards, at what must be the only spot with simultaneous views of Paarl Rock, the Simonsberg, False Bay and Table Mountain. Trudging up there requires much stamina, so far better board Warwick’s Land Rover, which also hosts groups for the guided ‘Big Five Safari’ tour. The quintet in question of course comprises grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage, Merlot and the two regal Cabernets. The ride is fun, interesting and includes a sipping stop. But I had to rebuke estate boss Mike Ratcliffe for excluding their classy Chardonnay from the showcase. Animals aside, a ‘Big Six’ would work here: Warwick is a very ‘sixy’ place. The picnics are what one would expect a classically-trained, proudly patriotic, much-acclaimed and irrepressibly manic, globetrotting chef like Robertson to conjure up. French (quiche, Camembert, seared beef with truffle mayo and a freshly-baked baguette), Italian (penne, vegetable and polenta salad) and Levantine (tabbouleh, baba ghannouj, couscous salad) verses alternate with a resoundingly lekker refrain (peppadew salsa, local cold meats, a pâté of biltong and brandy, meat or soya frikkadelles with tomato bredie and maketaan – watermelon and ginger preserve – for afters. There’s also a dose of humour (a pack of wine gums) and shrewd marketing (the baguette is wrapped in a copy of The Warwick News). They’ve thought of everything: a jungle gym, decent toilets, a bar counter for wine and Woodstock draught ale orders; service is pitched exactly right and there’s restaurant shelter if it rains. Oh, and every couple should drink wine from the Wedding Cup (read the legend on their website, www.warwickwine.com). As country outings go, I can’t think of a more satisfyingly relaxing and mood-elevating experience. CF
THE ESSENCE OF
VIENNESE MUSICAL CULTURE The Großer Saal at the Musikverein
he New Year’s Concert draws from the bodies of work by the Strauss musical dynasty and their contemporaries. As history tells it the Vienna Philharmonic (Wiener Philharmoniker) was not immediately enamoured of Johann Strauss II’s work. In the 1800s when he was producing his waltzes, his compositions were considered popular dance and entertainment music rather than serious orchestral work worthy of the orchestra’s attention. Interestingly, the Vienna Philharmonic ended up drawing many of its members from Strauss’s own orchestra, the Philharmonic Concert Association, over the years. In April 1873 Johann Strauss and the Vienna Philharmonic came together for the first time to present his waltz, Wiener
The annual Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert is so popular that tickets must be applied for at least a year in advance. Held on the morning of the 1st of January and broadcast globally to about 50 million people, this concert tradition officially began in 1939.
Blut, op. 354 for the Vienna Opera Ball. The occasion proved successful and was followed by a performance in November of the same year for the Vienna World Exposition which featured On the Beautiful Blue Danube, op. 314, and works by Johann Strauss I and Josef Lanner. This was followed by a series of ‘Soiree’ concerts in the Court Opera House, which proved highly successful, resulting in a third ‘Soiree’ performance in 1878. In 1894 the Vienna Philharmonic took part in a concert celebrating Strauss’s 50th conducting anniversary. Sadly, while conducting a performance of his Die Fledermaus overture in May 1899 at the Vienna Court Opera House, Strauss caught a cold, which soon gave way to full-blown pneumonia, bringing about his death only two weeks later.
The composer’s death did not lead to more frequent performances of his work by the Vienna Philharmonic until the centenary of his birth in 1925 led to a deeper and more widespread appreciation of his oeuvre. On 25 October of that year, the Philharmonic presented a programme consisting entirely of Strauss’s works. A week prior, the orchestra had included On the Beautiful Blue Danube on their regular subscription concert programme. These performances were all conducted by Felix Weingartner. This was a watershed moment as ‘Danube’ had only been played previously as an encore on foreign tours. In 1929 the conductor, Clemens Krauss, began the Vienna Philharmonic’s ‘Strauss tradition’ with a concert exclusively featuring the works of Johann Strauss II. From then until 1933, the orchestra performed similar programmers on an annual basis, including not only Strauss I’s work but that of other members of his musical family too. A bold step in 1939 saw a ‘Special Concert’ of works solely from the Strauss ‘dynasty’ performed on 31 December. Considering Austria’s recent annexation by Nazi Germany at the time, this concert was a political statement honouring definitive Austrian musical work. This Special Concert also included an open dress rehearsal performance on 30 December. Following on from this, the contemporary New Year’s Concert sees a ‘Preview Performance’ on 30 December, the ‘New Year’s Eve Concert’ on 31 December and the main event of the ‘New Year’s Concert’ on 1 January. The first genuine New Year’s Concert was performed on 1 Jan 1941, just 16 months into the Second World War. The concerts continued throughout the next four years of the conflict. It was only in 1946 that the title, ‘New Year’s Concert’ was officially used for the first time. This truly Austrian tradition has continued unbroken since then. Clemens Krauss conducted the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year Concerts until his death in 1954, except for a short banning period by the Allies during 1946/47 when Josef Krips raised the baton. Under Krauss the ‘New Year’s Concert’ became a seminal Viennese event and his interpretations of works by members of the Strauss family have influenced the way in which these works are performed to this day. From 1955 until 1979 Willi Boskovsky conducted the Concert, putting his unique personal stamp on the event. His tenure as conductor saw the event televised for the first time and its recognition as a global musical phenomenon. Lorin Maazel succeeded Boskovsky in 1980, directing the concerts until 1986 when the orchestra made a decision to vary conductors each year. Since 1987 the Vienna New Year’s Concert has been conducted by luminaries such as Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado and Daniel Barenboim. The exquisite Large Hall (Großer Saal) in the Musikverein in Vienna has played host to this concert since its inception and in 2011 the performance will be conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. An Austrian who recently became the General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, Welser-Möst first conducted this orchestra at the Salzburg Mozart Festival in 1998. He has worked regularly with the Philharmonic, stepping in at the last minute to conduct a performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde in 2003 – to great acclaim. More recently he conducted Richard Strauss’s Arabella and the complete cycle of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. The Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year Concert should perhaps be included on every true music lover’s ‘bucket list’. For those who would love to travel to Austria and experience the live performance, registrations for tickets for the 2012 concert are open from 2 to 23 January 2011. CF
AIR FRANCE IS A PROUD CARRIER TO M U S I C F E S T I VA L S AROUND THE WORLD
Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concerts 2011 Performances – Central European Time Preview Performance of the New Year’s Concert 11h00 on 30 December New Year’s Eve Concert 19h30 on 31 December New Year’s Concert 11h15 on 1 January 2012 Ticket Registration Registration for tickets for the 2012 concert is open from 2 to 23 January 2011: go to www. wienerphilharmoniker.at for all the details. Ticket prices currently range between €30 and €940 for the New Year's Concert, €25 and €720 for the New Year's Eve Concert, and €130 and €380 for the Preview Performance.
Air France offers daily flights to Paris with a choice of six onward connections to Vienna. For more details, contact Air France’s Sales and Service Centre in Johannesburg on 0861 340 340 or 011 523 8001 or visit www.airfrance.co.za.
The ‘Crazy 8’ INVADE THE CINEMA Images courtesy of Spud, The Movie
The long-awaited film adaptation of one of South Africa’s best loved books, Spud, is currently being screened in cinemas around the country. CLASSICFEEL’s Warren Holden spoke to the film’s director, Donovan Marsh and its young star, Troye Sivan, about the process of bringing this hilarious and moving coming-of-age story to the big screen.
pud, John van de Ruit’s novel about life in an elite South African boarding school, was published in 2005 and instantly became a national favourite. Its hilarious and touching portrayal of teenage growing pains and boarding school society struck a chord among readers at home and abroad. In many ways its depiction of boarding school life is similar to those in British fiction, calling to mind yesteryear school stories such as Frank Richards’ Greyfriar series or the Jennings novels of Anthony Buckeridge. Of course, lacking the Victorian moralising of these earlier works and presented in the format of a diary, Spud is most easily comparable to Sue Townsend’s modern classic The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, which does not fit into the school fiction subgenre. However, Spud, unlike all of these, is a South African story. Its characters and situations are all marked and textured by their post-apartheid South African environment, in the same way that Billy Bunter and his Greyfriars fellow pupils were shaped by their Edwardian British surroundings. In terms of its deeper cultural importance, the comparison between Spud and its British forbears is an important one. This is because van de Ruit’s book and its sequels, as South African cultural products, emerge from and cater to a very specific niche – that of the Anglo-South African. It stands alongside Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One and other stories, all in very different genres, as an exploration of the place occupied by English-speaking South Africans within the country’s greater social and cultural strata. Torn between their colonial origins and the country’s republican, nationalist present, Anglo-South Africans find their own identity in a state of constant flux. A boy – especially one who comes from that specific cultural group – coming of age in the difficult world of boarding school (itself an institution that harks back to the days of Empire), makes an appropriate metaphor for this crisis of identity. Most telling in this regard is the highly significant historical backdrop that Spud is set against – it begins at the time of Nelson Mandela’s release from
prison as a democratic, multicultural South Africa looms on the horizon with all its promise and potential threats. Right from the first page Spud simply begs to be adapted to the big screen, having the perfect combination of laugh-outloud humour, pathos, colourful characters and boyish ‘hijinks’. It is a sad truth that South Africans tend to be oblivious to our country’s artistic and cultural resources. As a result, there has always been a risk that any great South African story will be snapped up by American or European production companies before local practitioners even recognise its potential. This is a situation that is gradually changing, and luckily for Spud fans, two South African producers with impressive international CVs got their hands on the film rights before anybody else could. Ross Garland had worked as a lawyer and investment banker in New York before returning to South Africa and setting up Rogue Star Films, which has gone on to produce u-Carmen eKhayalitsha and Story of an African Farm. Brad Logan studied film and theatre at New York University and worked in advertising in Los Angeles but soon heard the mountains and beaches of KwaZulu-Natal calling him home. He returned and founded BLM Productions in 2003. Spud is a joint effort by BLM and Rogue Star. As Garland and Logan began pre-production on the long-awaited film, they received a call from a local director who insisted that he was the only man who could helm the production. Donovan Marsh, at 40 already a veteran writer, director and editor in South Africa’s TV, advertising and film industries, had recently received international acclaim for his first feature-length film, Dollars and White Pipes. He was convinced that Spud was his story to tell. ‘I cold-called the producers, who didn’t know who the hell I was and politely told me they were looking for an international director,’ Marsh recalls. ‘But I managed to convince them to look at my showreel and sent them a letter about why I was the right person to do it. It didn’t work.’ However, Garland and Logan did invite him to apply for the scriptwriting honours. This time he was successful and set to work turning the novel into a screenplay.
The Crazy 8. Back, from left to right: Gecko (Jamie Royal), Boggo (Travis Hornsby), Mad Dog (Josh Goddard), Vern (Tom Burne). Front, from left to right: Simon (Byron Langley), Rambo (Sven Ruygrok), Spud (Troye Sivan) and Fatty (Blessing Xaba).
‘We all got along so well,’ he says, ‘and they could obviously see how passionate and on top of the project I was, so a few months later they offered me the directing job.’ Central to Marsh’s approach to the story was Spud’s ideal combination of South African setting and characters, and universal appeal. ‘The story really is universal,’ he says. ‘It’s a story of a boy coming of age, struggling to fit in, needing acceptance. The setting is obviously South African and local audiences will have the added bonus of situation recognition. But I think that it will be novel, fun and different for international audiences and I hope that they will lap it up. My angle on the subject matter was to stick to a central story of a boy growing up in this bizarre environment and his trials and difficulties as he tries to fit in, meet girls and find his identity.’ Effectively staging and shooting a story like Spud entails three of the most notoriously difficult challenges in the film industry: creating good comedy, working with child actors and living up to the expectations of the book’s scores of fans. How did Marsh deal with these challenges? ‘Comedy is one of those things you either have a feel for or you don’t. You can’t fake it. You can fake
stunts, effects, car chases and so on; you can even fake tears and emotion to a certain extent – but not comedy. I hope I have a feel for it and I made sure to cast the right people and construct the situations in a believable and humorous way. I steered away from slapstick and kept it real. ‘The kids were absolutely amazing; they were motivated and keen and wonderful to work with. You know with kids you just want them to be themselves and just do what they normally do, because they’re so unguarded and natural if you let them be, and that’s what I tried to do.’ When it came to casting the characters that have become so widely loved, Marsh certainly felt the pressure. His way of dealing with it was to make the casting process as consultative as possible. ‘I made sure to include as many people in the process as I could – including John van de Ruit. The cast had to look right and feel right and work together, but most importantly for me they had to be strong performers. In the end, we were blessed with an exceptional cast.’ To make the movie more marketable overseas, it needed at least one international star somewhere in the cast. The filmmakers’ choice as to who that should be was inspired. In the role of Mr
Edly, aka ‘The Guv’ – John ‘Spud’ Milton’s eccentric English teacher, cricket coach and mentor – they cast British comic genius John Cleese. Anyone who has watched his work over the years will know that he is perfectly suited to the role. Marsh was delighted with his performance. ‘John was nothing short of incredible: hard working, 100 percent committed, challenging and a true professional. He helped me improve his dialogue and never allowed false moments in his scenes. In the end he delivered a powerful, nuanced performance that I think will surprise many people.’ The rest of the adult characters were played by established South African TV and film actors. The real challenge was the casting of Spud, his schoolmates – including the ‘Crazy 8’ gang of which Spud is a member – and his love interests. After extensive searching, Marsh and the producers managed to unearth a veritable jackpot of young, unknown talent to fill the supporting roles. For the lead character, the filmmakers searched both at home and abroad – the successful candidate, although linked to South Africa, ended up coming from further afield. After numerous auditions, the role was given to 14-year-old Troye Sivan, a South African born, Australian actor and singer. Sivan first came to prominence in Australia thanks to his beautiful treble singing voice, which has seen him performing in top venues in his hometown of Perth and even by special invitation at a gala dinner for Los Angeles’ Jewish community in memory of the victims of the Mumbai massacre. His performance at the dinner was broadcast on YouTube, which led to him being discovered by his current manager, who set up his first acting engagement. ‘He asked me if I had had any previous acting experience,’ Sivan says. ‘I told him that I hadn’t and he asked if I would be interested in doing auditions. As it turned out the first one that came along was for X-Men Origins: Wolverine!’
Sivan successfully auditioned to play the younger version of Hugh Jackman’s character in the Hollywood blockbuster. ‘Of course that film was directed by fellow South African, Gavin Hood,’ Sivan continues. ‘That helped a lot and he was really good to work with. By the end of the shoot, I had officially been bitten by the infamous acting bug. I never want to stop.’ Sivan impressed the crew and cast of Spud with his maturity, professionalism and boundless energy. ‘He was in every scene on every day of the shoot,’ says Marsh, ‘six days a week for eight weeks in a row. He never tired, he never lost enthusiasm, always delivered. He is my hero.’ Sivan was invited to audition after a family member of Garland’s saw the youngster on Australian television. Seven months down the line he was informed that he had the part. ‘It was amazing,’ he says. ‘I didn’t know about the books beforehand, but I fell in love with both the screenplay and the book right from the first page. It was great to be doing a South African story. I feel proud to have been born there and couldn’t wait to give something back to my birthplace.’ Spud was rehearsed and shot over the course of eight weeks at Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, and in Durban, in March and April 2010. ‘We had an incredible team,’ Marsh says, ‘Lance Gewer, who shot Tsotsi, was the director of photography, Megan Gill was our editor – she also edited Wolverine. And we had a great team of art directors and costume designers. Remember that this is a period film and we had great fun recreating the early 90s.’ While Spud is playing to cinema goers around the country, Marsh, Sivan and the rest of the cast and crew are busy with other things. If all goes well, however, they will soon be coming together again for the next instalment in the series, Spud – The Madness Continues. John ‘Spud’ Milton (Troye Sivan) arrives at school in Spud, The Movie.
Question: Who plays the role of John ‘Spud’ Milton in the film version of Spud? Film release edition of Spud .
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LOUP Director: Nicolas Vanier Cast: Nicolas Brioudes, Pom Klementieff, Min Man Ma, Vantha Talisman, Bernard Wong, Gurgon Kyap, Kaveil Kem and Vassiliev Guerassine. Set in Yakutia/Siberia, Loup tells the tragic and heart-warming tale of Sergei, of the Batagi family of reindeer breeders. Newly awarded the title of ‘herdsman’, Sergei sets out for the first time on the summer reindeer drive of the Even tribe. The tribe’s herdsman and their reindeer must get safely through the Siberian mountains – with the reindeer of much economic value, it is a critical mission for the Even. They
face one particularly terrifying and wily threat in the form of wolves. Loup sees Sergei come to face to face with one of these female lupine enemies but unable to raise his gun and shoot: his adversary is a mother wolf with young pups. Sergei finds himself creating deep conflict for himself with the Batagi and Even tribes as he befriends the pups. The pups grow up and begin hunting in a pack, attacking the reindeer herds.
DON PASQUALE Director: James Levine Cast: Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecien, John Del Carlo, Anna Netrebko Revel in this live recording of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010/11 season performance of Don Pasquale with Anna Netrebko in the role of Norina and Musical Director James Levine conducting. This comic three-act opera features music by composer Gaetano Donizetti and a libretto by Giovanni Ruffini. With characters that find their origins in commedia dell’arte, Don Pasquale tells a tale of ‘complicity and error’ as the old
bachelor, Pasquale seeks an heir through his nephew, Ernesto. However, Ernesto does not wish to marry the woman his uncle has chosen for him – Norina is his love. Pasquale consults Dr Malatesta for advice, but the doctor has his own designs to encourage Pasquale to marry his sister, Sofronia. The tale twists and turns as Sofronia is encouraged to make herself utterly objectionable after the marriage, ensuring divorce.
SECRET IN THEIR EYES Director: Juan José Campanella Cast: Ricardo Darín, Javier Godino, Soledad Villamil
An Argentinian drama-thriller, Secret in their Eyes tells the story of a vicious crime that occurred in 1974, in the process shocking the nation. The film’s story unfolds in a series of flashbacks from 1999 and sees Benjamin, a former criminal court employee, setting out to write a novel about the rape and murder of a young woman which occurred during the tenure of the
Secret in their Eyes
military junta of the time. Benjamin believes that the two immigrant workers who originally confessed to the crime were not guilty. He and his colleague and friend, Pablo Sandoval, attempt to discover the real perpetrator of the crime but in so doing run the terrifying gamut of bureaucracy and power in the Argentine government.
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WILLIE’S CHOCOLATE BIBLE By Willie Harcourt-Cooze Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 9780340993569
Sub-titled ‘Chocolate Heaven in Recipes and Stories’, this is not marketing hyperbole. Any chocolate-lover’s taste buds should quiver just looking at the cover, but they should be dancing in the mouth between the book’s covers with ‘Aztec Hot Chocolate’, ‘Roast Wild Duck with a chocolate and orange sauce’, ‘Cacao and Olive Bread’ and ‘Deep, Dark and Delicious Ice Cream’. The birth of chocolate from the cacao bean and Willie’s love for chocolate prove fascinating reading. This book is for all ‘chocolate romantics’.
KITCHEN: RECIPES FROM THE HEART OF THE HOME By Nigella Lawson Chatto & Windus ISBN 9780701184605
Dedicated to her family, Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen is a magnificent compilation of recipes for all occasions. With divine new recipes from this kitchen diva, this cookbook also offers Lawson’s shortcuts and cooking habits and easy food for hungry families. Written in a conversational and personal style, the pages of this cookbook sing with the joys of food, not to mention ‘Blackberry Vodka’. And if baking is your metier prepare to melt with delight over her chocolate lime cake (with margarita cream, of course).
SUMMER FOOD IN PROVENCE By Marita van der Vyver Tafelberg ISBN 9780624047216
From local foodie legend, Marita van der Vyver, Summer Food in Provence appeals to the romantic food-and-travel wistfulness in all of us. The food photos leap from the pages interspersed with delightful pictures of human bonhomie and beautiful images of the local Provence landscape and architecture. This book is not just about food and recipes (in which van der Vyver is a consummate culinary artist); it’s about a lifestyle of simplicity and ease, and sunflowers!
JAMIE’S 30 MINUTE MEALS By Jamie Oliver Penguin ISBN 9780718154776
This time of year usually sees a ‘new Jamie Oliver’. This year he certainly doesn’t disappoint, bringing express cooking for express people in an express world. In straight forward Jamie-style, he expounds on ‘no-faffing’, organised cooking for 2010 foodies, and it doesn’t mean there’s any compromise on the food quality. Revolutionary step-by-step cooking that sees complete meals on the table in his promised half hour, with no short cuts missed – just make sure you have all the ingredients first!
RAMSAY'S BEST MENUS Text by Gordon Ramsay Quadrille Publishing ISBN 9781844009152
A ring bound cookbook that really belongs on your kitchen rack – thumbed through and practically used. Ramsay’s Best Menus presents 52 of this food maestro’s best menus – compiled from global food cultures. Each menu consists of a starter, main course and dessert but… the pages between each recipe are ‘sliced’ allowing adventurous foodies to mix and match their own menus. With recipes influenced by the fresh food on hand during different seasons of the year, this one’s a treat!
047 MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY PASTE 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 3-4 long red chillies, halved and deseeded 4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped 3 large shallots, peeled and chopped ¾ tsp ground turmeric 2 tbsp groundnut oil CURRY 750g skinless and boneless chicken thighs 1½ tbsp groundnut oil 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 kaffir lime leaves 1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise 350ml coconut milk 350 Chicken stock (179) 75ml C 1 tsp palm sugar (or soft brown sugar) 1½ tbsp ligh light soy sauce sauce 1½ tbsp fish sa 300g green beans, trimmed and bea cut in half handful handfu of coriander leaves, roug roughly torn
First make the curry paste. Remove the tough outer leaves from the lemongrass, then slice thinly. Put into a food processor with the garlic, chillies, ginger, shallots and turmeric and whiz to a paste. With the motor running, trickle in the groundnut oil and blend well, scraping the sides of the processor several times. (Or you can pound the ingredients together in batches using a pestle and mortar.) To make the curry, cut the chicken into bitesized pieces. Heat the groundnut oil in a large castiron casserole or heavy-based pan. Tip in the curry paste and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until they are beginning to soften. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and stir to coat the in the spice paste. Add the lime leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, coconut milk, stock, sugar, soy and fish sauces and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender. Skim off any excess oil from the surface of the curry, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Tip in the green beans, put the lid on and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the beans are tender. Scatter the coriander leaves over the curry and serve with rice and stir-fried pak choi.
Food photographs by Con Poulos Portraits by Chris Terry
books... your guide to great reads TWILIGHT OF THE VUVUZELAS By Stephen Francis & Rico Jacana ISBN 9781770098787
Madam & Eve 2010, and the vuvuzelas are marauding – taking over the world’s hearing. Action man Clint Eastwood swoops in to pull off an Invictus II soccer victory, ‘Zillesaurus’, ‘Malemasaurus’ and ‘Joostosaurus’ stalk the land and Thandi might be Jacob Zuma’s love child. Twilight of the Vuvuzelas is a definite stocking-filler that should have the Media Tribunal on the doorstep, fans falling in potholes with laughter or picking up Mother Anderson’s ubiquitous gin for a big gulp!
TRINITY ON AIR By Fiona Snyckers Jonathan Ball Publishers ISBN 9781868423651
Trinity Luhabe returns and she is ready for the ‘big time’. With aspirations beyond working at Bridles Steakhouse in Bryanston, this educated, young black ‘princess’ should surely have all the media houses knocking on her door offering her a job? But they’re not and in fact she’s been knocking on theirs, a lot. However, with artless tenacity and chutzpah she lands a job on Jozi Talks radio station and she seems set to sail dreamily into her future but… her new, smooth, Nigerian upstairs neighbour seems suspicious, and perfect boyfriend, Ethan may just be boring plus Farouk has moved to Joburg. Lovely, entertaining reading.
THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS By Jess Walter Penguin Books ISBN 9780141049137
Celebrated author Jess Walter introduces Matt Prior, a financial journalist recently turned website-money-poet whose sense of career timing is all wrong. The global
financial crisis has set in and he’s in deep trouble. About to lose his house, perhaps his wife and desperately unsure of his financial future he has a ‘dope epiphany’ courtesy of two tattooed ‘bangers’ while buying late night milk from the local 7/11. Witty, original contemporary writing: ‘… another 7/11. And here I am, just like my mother feared, stoned off my nut, unemployed’.
background, and Seema, married in the Hindu faith to a mean bully of a husband. Follow their battles through their year of internship which includes the redemptive presence of Dr Ribbentrop.
THE ANGINA MONOLOGUES
Macmillan ISBN 9780230749016
By Rosamund Kendal
The Nelson Mandela book of the year. Conversations with Myself provides personal writings of Madiba, moving from his often heartbreakingly intense prison letters (particularly to Winnie Mandela), to transcriptions of about 20 hours of taped conversation with Ahmed Kathrada, the notebooks which Madiba always carried with him and the previously unpublished sequel to Long Walk to Freedom, sadly never completed. A beautiful hardcover book which includes a selection of images of original letters, a prison calendar and meeting notes which allows the reader to reach out and touch the man.
Jacana Media ISBN 9781770098121
Yet another compellingly enjoyable novel from Rosamund Kendal, which chronicles the ‘monologues’ of three newly interned, female doctors. Assigned to a rural hospital at Tugela Ferry, they must deal with the shocking lack of adequate medical equipment, essential medicines, crumbling wards and the kind of South African poverty that means their patients battle just to find transport money to and from the hospital. There is Rachael, a previously privileged and naively cocooned, Jewish girl; Nomsa, who fights her own internal demons for and against her traditional
NELSON MANDELA: CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF By Nelson R. Mandela and The Nelson Mandela Foundation
books... your guide to crime thrillers
DADDY’S GIRL By Margie Orford Jonathan Ball Publishers ISBN 9781868423866
Another powerhouse South African crime fiction author, Orford returns with her third Clare Hart novel. Set deep in the gangland territory of Cape Town, which seems to be becoming SA crime writers’ location of choice, Daddy’s Girl is a tightly plotted story with themes that at times are all too horribly real. However the action is fast and enticing as Hart teams up with Captain Riedwaan Faizal to find his kidnapped daughter.
STEEPED IN BLOOD David Klatzow as told to Sylvia Walker Zebra Press ISBN 9781868729227
Steeped in Blood is a non-fiction account of the work of independent South African forensic scientist, David Klatzow. With 26 years experience he relates truly fascinating but often, necessarily grisly details of events such as Brett Kebble’s death, the murder of Inge Lotz, the Helderberg plane crash and apartheid horrors such as the Gugulethu Seven killings, assassination of David Webster and the Trojan Horse massacre. As a reader one senses an earnest, honest searching for the scientific truth in Klatzow. Particularly interesting is his forensic work involving the insurance industry – a fascinating book but not for the faint-hearted.
BROKEN By Karin Slaughter Century ISBN 9781846052057
Sarah Linton finally returns to Grant County after the horrific death of her husband, former police chief, Jeffrey Tolliver. Meant to be a dutiful
Thanksgiving visit to her family, Linton is soon drawn into the lake death of a local student and the subsequent suicide-incustody of the alleged murderer. Linton’s personal nemesis, Detective Lena Adams seems to not only be at the centre of the action but also responsible for much of it. With her husband’s police force seemingly lost and unmotivated, Linton calls in FBI agent, Will Trent to uncover the truth, but is she blinded by her own prejudice? The story is wonderfully intricate, weaving intriguing threads together, resulting in a heart-stopping climax. More crime-writing brilliance from Slaughter.
MORTAL REMAINS By Kathy Reichs Heinemann: London ISBN 9780434014729
Kathy Reichs brings another Temperance Brennan crime thriller to her reading audience. Three bodies, three identities but who is who? This time Brennan works with the US military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command to establish the identities of bodies recovered from the Vietnam War and that of John Lowery, an American soldier recently found dead
in Canada but declared dead in 1968. The fallout of Brennan’s relationship with Detective Ryan continues with a delicious ‘will they or won’t they’ undercurrent to the crime story, which largely takes place in Hawaii. A bit formulaic but nevertheless another gripping ‘Tempe’ read.
STOLEN LIVES By Jassy Mackenzie Umuzi ISBN 9781415201039
Mackenzie does it again – providing great South African crime fiction which just flows in the reading. PI Jade de Jong returns as the main character in this story as she, Superintendent David Patel and Detective Constable Edmonds from Scotland Yard trace the victims and perpetrators of human trafficking and sex work, from a strip club in Midrand to brothels in the UK. Treading the complicated space of his personal life between ex-lover De Jong, and his estranged wife, Patel must deal with the kidnapping of his son and simultaneously shoulder the international trafficking case. Riveting, jaw-dropping reading.
CLARKSON – THE ITALIAN JOB 2EDVD0545L
Wry, dry and passionate about all things vehicular, Jeremy Clarkson goes behind the action scenes on The Italian Job, where ‘mechanical problems, technical headaches and tricks of the trade’ dominate his video diary. He also includes a Top 5 rundown of some of the cars he himself has personally destroyed in various innovative ways over the course of 15 years. And that’s just on one of the two DVDs.
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S FIRST LIFE BBCDVD-3262L
David Attenborough – who needs no introduction – goes in search of the world’s first animals, from which the animal kingdom as we know it evolved. Attenborough gathers evidence from fossils and living animals across the world in
THE MICHAEL PARKINSON COLLECTION
Music, documentary, film – whatever your taste in DVDs, you’ll find something here to add to your collection.
CLARKSON THE ITALIAN JOB T
order to bring to life a period in the earth’s history that took place half a billion years ago, which in turn is brought to life by state of the art technology.
THE MICHAEL PARKINSON COLLECTION BBCDVD-3334L
For over four decades, Michael Parkinson has been one of Britain’s best loved television personalities, interviewing sports heroes, film stars and other household names. This collection includes highlights from ‘Parky’s’ television career, among them interviews with Muhammad Ali, David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hugh Jackman, Robin Williams – and a host of others.
MISTRESSES – SERIES 3 BBCDVD-3152L
Mistresses follows the tumultuous love lives of four women, all of whom are
close friends. Katie is trying to restart her life in the UK since her relationship with an Australian man failed, after she slept with his best friend; Siobhan balances career and life as a single mother; Jessica has finally married, bringing to an end a wild love life; and Trudi risks her family life by putting her new business venture first.
PLANET EARTH SPECIAL EDITION BBCDVD-3272L
Comprising six discs, this special edition includes all the episodes from the unforgettable series documenting the diversity of life on the green planet, using the latest in modern technology to secure unrivalled footage of astonishing landscapes and the wildlife which inhabits it. The special edition includes video diaries created by the Planet Earth team, as well as two full length Natural World films.
dvds... opera For those who love opera, here is a selection of exciting new DVD releases.
EMI Classics 50999 6 31611 9 9
Antonio Pappano assembles an all-star cast in this Royal Opera production of Gounod’s ever-popular story of diabolical dealings and redemption. Roberto Alagna plays the lead role, with the incomparable Bryn Terfel in the role of Méphistophélès and Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite. You couldn’t ask for better – the cast and their conductor live up to their promise. This may be regarded as a definitive Faust performance.
VERDI – DON CARLO EMI Classics 50999 6 31609 9 4
Another Royal Opera production, once again with Antonio Pappano on the rostrum, sees Rolando Villazón in the role of Verdi’s ill-fated Spanish prince. Marina Poplavskaya is Elizabeth of Valois and Simon Keenlyside stars as Rodrigo. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this
production of Verdi’s longest, grandest opera was staged during the Royal Opera’s 2007/2008 season. The high drama of Italian opera at its best.
PUCCINI – LA RONDINE
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
GOUNOD – FAUST
on the cynicism and immorality of the nobility. In this sumptuous production by Dresden’s Semperoper, Zeljko Lucic stars in the title role with Diana Damrau as his daughter, the tragic heroine Gilda and Juan Diego Flórez as the womanising Duke.
EMI Classics 50999 6 31618 9 2
For a composer best known for tragedies, usually featuring a doomed heroine, Puccini showed himself to be adept at comedy with this seldom performed masterpiece. The Met saw fit to revive the relatively unpopular piece for its 2008/2009 season, resulting in this sparkling performance featuring Angela Gheorghiu as Magda and Roberto Alagna as Ruggero.
VERDI – RIGOLETTO Virgin Classics 50999 6 41868 9 4
Rigoletto is a tragic tale based on Victor Hugo’s Le roi s’amuse, which in its time was a highly controversial attack
RICHARD STRAUSS – ARIADNE AUF NAXOS Virgin Classics 50999 6 41867 9 5
This is a 2003 Metropolitan Opera production of Strauss’s experimental comedy in which the two entertainment acts booked for a Viennese high society party are forced by time constraints to perform simultaneously, resulting in an incongruous mix of serious classical drama and commedia dell’arte burlesque. Natalie Dessay stars as Zerbinetta, the leader of the comedy troupe, and Deborah Voigt is the Prima Donna/ Ariadne. Conducted by James Levine.
cds... pure jazz
FOURPLAY KIRK WHALUM
Are you a jazz connoisseur? This is where you will find albums to suit your taste.
KIRK WHALUM – EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING
brief hiatus were somewhat disappointed as the album did not break any boundaries. Today however, it remains one of his definitive releases. A true jazz classic.
Sheer Sound SLCD 207
This is Whalum’s tribute to the tragic genius of soul vocalist and keyboard player, Donny Hathaway, focusing on the strong cultural and stylistic links between the gospel, soul, R&B and jazz genres. As is usually the case with Whalum’s work, Everything is Everything is smooth and soulful.
SONNY ROLLINS – THE BRIDGE Sony/ Columbia CDRCA 7264
The Bridge was Rollins’ first release following his return to music after his unexpected 1959 retirement. It bridges the gap between two distinct periods in the saxophonist’s career: the young rising star of the 50s and the well-established, mature musician of the 60s. Fans expecting a revolutionary new approach after Rollins’
FOURPLAY – LET’S TOUCH THE SKY Heads Up HUI-32030-02
Let’s Touch the Sky is the twelfth album by the ever-popular, smooth jazz quartet, and the first to feature guitarist Chuck Loeb, who stepped in after Larry Carlton’s departure earlier this year. Fourplay fans will not be disappointed – everything we love about the band is abundantly present in each track. A particular highlight is the track, ‘Love TKO’, which features American Idols winner Ruben Studdard on vocals.
TAKE 6 – THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR Heads Up HUCD 3158
The a cappella group bring their fusion of R&B and jazz influences to a
selection of seasonal favourites, including ‘White Christmas’, and a scat version of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year offers a fresh alternative to more traditional Christmas carol compilations. Aside from the group’s singing, their vocal imitations of instruments ranging from bass to muted trumpet make this album a delight.
LIZZ WRIGHT – FELLOWSHIP Universal/ Verve STARCD 7503
Wright’s new album features covers, as well as a few originals by the singer and her collaborators. Fellowship displays a strong gospel influence and appropriately includes traditional sacred favourites like ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ and ‘Power Lord, Glory Glory’, as well as reworkings of songs by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Angelique Kidjo. Even if you don’t like gospel music, Wright’s unbelievable vocals and sensitivity make this album unmissable.
cds... hard core classics For those who prefer their classics undiluted by other genres, here is a selection of exciting new classical releases.
EMI Classics 50999 6 41144 2
The great Latin American composers of classical music are seldom given a voice in the classical mainstream. Venezuelan pianist, Montero, has stepped forward to fill that gap. The tracks on Solatino highlight the distinctive fusion of classical form and Latin rhythms that sets the work of these composers apart. Works by six composers from Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil feature alongside Montero’s own improvisations. Solatino is a welcome, fresh and different addition to the glut of piano recordings on the market.
DRESDNER KAMMERCHOR – JS BACH: WEIHNACHTSORATORIUM
LEIF OVE ANDSNES
GABRIELA MONTERO SOLATINO
give a definitive performance of this classic of sacred music. It forms part of an ongoing Bach cycle that also includes the Brandenburg Concertos, St Matthew’s Passion and the St John Passion.
TRIO HEMANAY – IT TAKES THREE HEM002
On this follow-up to their 2008 SAMAnominated debut album, the local chamber ensemble – consisting of Malcolm Nay (piano), Helen Vosloo (flute) and Marian Lewin (cello) – plays a selection of work by Haydn, Villa-Lobos, Rutter, Piazzolla, Jean-Michel Damase and Hendrik Hofmeyr. The repertoire is nicely varied in terms of era, style and feel, giving the trio ample opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of technique and mood.
Decca 00289 478 2271
Few compositions evoke the festive spirit quite as well as Bach’s 1735 masterpiece. On this timely new recording, the Dresdner Kammerchor and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
JANINE JANSEN – BEAU SOIR Decca 00289 478 2256
The Dutch violinist follows up her highly acclaimed recording of Beethoven and Britten’s Violin Concertos with a recital of
short French pieces. Some of them, such as Messiaen’s Théme et Variations, were originally composed for violin and piano. However the album also includes pieces that have been newly transcribed for violin and piano, such as the song by Debussy from which the album takes its title. Jansen’s releases are always ones to look out for, thanks to her ability to add sparkle and freshness to often-played repertory pieces.
LEIF OVE ANDSNES – RACHMANINOV: PIANO CONCERTOS 3 & 4 EMI Classics 50999 6 40516 2
‘Out of all my concerto recordings, I am tempted to say that I am most proud of this one,’ says Andsnes of his latest album, which pairs Rachmaninov’s romantic Third and jazz-tinged, modernist Fourth Concertos. The recording places the incomparable Andsnes alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antonio Pappano, who is fast cementing his place as one of the finest conductors of the early 21st century.
cds & dvds... new and exciting
The follow-up to Universal’s 100 Rock Essentials contains a fair mix of ‘the usual’ rock compilation fodder (Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ or Rainbow’s ‘Since You Been Gone’) and a surprisingly high number of gems that one doesn’t usually find on these collections (Ace Frehley’s ‘New York Groove’, Atomic Rooster’s ‘Tomorrow Night’). These unusual selections make this six-CD set well worth having.
RAVI SHANKAR – VERY BEST OF EMI Classics 50999 629455 2
A long overdue comprehensive ‘best of ’ collection of one of the most popular ambassadors of Indian music. Shankar did more than anyone else to bring the music of his country to the West, in the process influencing the likes of The Beatles. This collection includes excerpts
ANDRÉ É RIEU Universal Music FBUDCD 011
VARIOUS ARTISTS VARIOUS ARTISTS – ANOTHER 100 ROCK ESSENTIALS
In this section you will find CDs and DVDs that are not strictly classical or jazz, but are new and exciting nonetheless.
from his groundbreaking collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin, West Meets East, and other live and studio recordings from throughout his career.
ROBERT PLANT – BAND OF JOY Decca 2742241
The former Led Zeppelin vocalist’s first new recording since 2007’s Raising Sand, his award-winning collaboration with Allison Krauss. The songs on Band of Joy have strong folk and blues roots, combining British folk sounds with blues, country and gospel. In many ways, Band of Joy is a return to Plant’s pre-Zeppelin roots. Age and experience have enabled the mature singer to do justice to these influences in a way that the teenage Plant never could have.
ANDRÉ RIEU – MY AFRICAN DREAM Universal UMFDVD 292
This 2-DVD set documents Rieu’s recent South African tour. The first disc is a
documentary detailing the violinist and orchestra leader’s preparations for the concerts, and other offstage activities, including rehearsals, a visit to Hout Bay, and the European volcanic ash crisis that nearly stopped the tour before it started. The second disc is a live concert performance, complete with everything that Rieu fans have come to love. Adding a local touch to the concert are Rieu and his orchestra’s renditions of ‘Sarie Marais’ and ‘African Dream’.
THE BEATLES – THE FOUR COMPLETE ED SULLIVAN SHOWS Universal UMFDVD 291
Over the course of 1964 and 1965, The Beatles made music and television history with a series of appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, then the most popular TV variety show in the United States. This double DVD set features all four of those historic appearances as well as 13 minutes of bonus material. Essential for Beatles fans and enthusiasts of music history.
What are you reading at the moment? Jay Naidoo’s Fighting for Justice, Work in Progress and Other Stories - a compilation of short stories for the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing and Richard Dowden’s Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.
Mike van Graan is the executive director of the African Arts Institute, serves as the secretary general of the Arterial Network, and is one of South Africa’s leading playwrights.
Name three artworks that you love and why. The movie, The Mission, with Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons, for its grappling with deeply moral, pen-versus-sword type questions and its beautiful, powerful music. The Kenyan musical, Mo Faya by Eric Wainana about broken political promises, executed with complexity, wonderful music and excellent acting talent, the kind of thing we should be doing here. Green Eyed Thieves by Imraan Coovadia, for its excellent satire, great use of language and intelligence. Name one artiste you would love to meet. Bono. I’d like to introduce him to a few cultureand-development causes in Africa that could use a bit of fundraising through music concerts.
Mike van Graan
Image by Suzy Bernstein
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To be content to do only one full-time job at a time. How has the arts industry in South Africa changed over the last ten years? There are now just so many more – and high quality – book fairs, fashion shows, literary festivals, wine and food events, art fairs and exhibitions, restaurants, arts festivals, heritage sites and tours… Yet I don’t think we appreciate the true value or relevance of cultural tourism to our country’s economy, its image and its development challenges. Name one thing you think would improve the arts and culture industry in South Africa. A greater sense of unity and collaboration among creative practitioners. There is SO much expertise, experience, passion and commitment among us that we can make a huge difference to our sector and society if we spent less time chasing the little things, and joined forces to dream up and give effect to the big ideas. What is your most treasured possession? I’m not particularly attached to possessions, but my thumbs are often attached to my BlackBerry. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? It must be poverty, which unfortunately, so many of our country’s population still wallow in, with 50 per cent living on less than R350 a month. Thankfully, it’s not an experience I’m personally familiar with despite what we like to believe about our lot as artists. What is it that makes you happy? Proving people who believe that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) cannot be done, wrong. And, baked cheesecake. Describe a defining moment in your life. Being present when my sons – Nicholas, now aged 16 and Adam, 13 – were born. What projects will you be busy with during 2011? On the theatre front, hopefully, a contemporary political thriller that raises some of the complexities of Africa today. Otherwise, consolidating national chapters of Arterial Network in Africa and building the brand of the African Arts Institute through some pretty exciting projects. Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next twelve months. To have at least one of my plays staged in a significant international theatre market.