Sunday 24 May
4 pm – 5.30 pm
Nassau Center, Palmyra Road
A father’s loss, a mother’s hope – Different experiences of parenthood are explored through the medium of Art Song. Owen Metsileng, one of South Africa’s latest export baritones, who recently made consistently ecstatic headlines throughout Europe for his spectacular portrayal of “Macbeth”, presents Mahler’s massive song-cycle, “Kindertotenlieder” based on texts by the extraordinary German poet Friedrich Rückert.
Louise Howlett will present the mother’s hopes and dreams and yes, also her fears, through a careful selection of Art Songs from various periods, from Purcell, through Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Head.
This is an art-song recital designed to present the singers in repertoire perfectly suited to their voices and temperament, woven into a fresh narrative. Presenting some traditional favourites along with a few new discoveries allows us to set these gems in a new context, demonstrating the accessibility, richness and texture of this beautiful genre.
Book through Hanna van Schalkwyk: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 824 1007.
Tickets cost R100 and R20 of each ticket goes towards the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust.
Owen Metsileng was born in Rustenburg. He comes from a musical family and started singing at an early age in church and school choirs. While in secondary school, he was introduced to classical music by his chorus mistress. He started competing in the Tirisano Choral Eisteddfod Competition and was the National Champion in the 2007 SACMA Competition. Owen was a member of the Black Tie Ensemble from 2006 to 2008 and joined the CTO Studio in 2010. For CTO he has sung Le Dancaïre in Carmen and Barone Douphol in La traviata, while also understudying the role of Giorgio Germont. He recently sang the role of Marcello in La bohème for Cape Town Opera, as well as Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess on the UK Tour. In September 2012, Owen performed in Cape Town Opera’s Gala Concerts with Orchestra Victoria at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne.
What the Critics have said:
“Owen Metsileng’s Macbeth, alongside Mngxekeza, is forceful as the flawed anti-hero, even drawing our sympathy in his final, shortened Pieta rispetto.” – Nieu Zealand Herald
“The singing… is top drawer.” – Aucklands Arts Festival
” … blazing intensity and savage wit … the singing is quite extraordinary. Owen Metsileng and Otto Maidi radiate strong brooding presences as Macbeth and Banquo” – London Telegraph
“The production reaches its peaks of high drama most successfully during Macbeth’s solo passages at moments of realisation or crisis; here Metsileng’s deep tones are combined with striking lighting designs that create potency…” – Barbican Centre
“As Macbeth, Owen Metsileng has a vulnerability thinly concealed by his brute strength..” – Exeunt (Barbican Center)
“Owen Metsileng’s Macbeth, too, employs a wider range of expressive vocalism than might be risked in a conventional production of Verdi’s work. Bailey’s rethinking of the piece already emphasises the dramatic at the expense of more lyrical episodes and Metsileng’s connection with the text in such moments as the Banquet Scene is awe-inspiring, his ravings at the dead Banquo accompanied by sudden plunges of the stage into darkness. His frequent descents into self-doubt are perfectly articulated” – Auckland Arts Festival
Louise Howlett, originally from England, studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Margaret Cable where she featured in a number of competitions and masterclasses. As a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, Louise toured to the Bergen Festival and Edinburgh Main and Fringe Festivals, as well as performing in the award winning production of The Ragged Child at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London. She performed in television productions of both The Ragged Child and the opera of The Tailor of Gloucester.
Louise came to South Africa in 1993 to work as Organiser for the National Chamber Orchestra in the North West Province and soon decided to make South Africa her home. She sang on many occasions with the NCO including a number of corporate functions in Sun City and Johannesburg. She also performed in a number of Oratoria including the Nelson Mass by Haydn, The Messiah by Handel, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and was involved in choral training workshops and master classes.
In March 1999 she moved to Cape Town where she is now based. Her Cape Town debut took place with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at their Kirstenbosch Millennium Concert, but her love of jazz and the musicals led her to create her own unique combination of classical, broadway and jazz “Across the Styles” singing projects which she regularly performs with pianist Albert Combrink. Performances include such varied events as the Kirstenbosch Classical Chamber Music Series and Big Blues Festival with sold out shows at the Baxter Theatre and the Greyton Rose Festival.
Future plans include further performances at the Baxter Theatre and for the Endler Concert Series. They have also released their first CD “Night Sessions”, generously filled with timeless gems, recorded and produced by Duncan Mackay at Down South Recording.
A keen promoter of classical music in Cape Town, Louise is the General Manager of the Cape Town Concert Series, and is a regular presenter on Fine Music Radio. Her programme “For the Love of Opera” features all the latest news and reviews of opera around the world today.
What Critics have said:
“Louise Howlett is a consummate singer and performer” – Monday Missile
“Louise Howett … the lady with a voice like an angel.” – BizCommunity
“Her range and skill and her easy, pleasant interpretation of the astonishing range of music was aurally opulent” – What’s On In Cape Town
Albert is a Freelance Pianist working in a variety of genres: classical pianist, instrumental accompanist, musicals, Opera and Jazz. Since graduating with a Master’s Degree in Classical Piano Perfromance and completing Licentiates in Accompaniment, Teaching and Performing, he has distinguished himself in various fields, both locally and abroad. Performances at the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Singapore are recent highlights. His operatic interests took him to the UCT Opera School, Cape Town Opera and the Isango Partabello company which won a London Critics’ Award for Mozart’s “Magic Flute”. He has performed regularly on television, for Kyknet, Ontbytsake, SABC 3’s Expresso. He appeared on SABC 3’s Top Billing accompanying the international cross-over Superstar Catherine Jenkins and local celebrity Diva Lynelle Kenned. He was Music Director of the 2012 “Dance for a Cure”, which raises awareness and funds for Cervical Cancer Inoculations. He is co-author of 3 Arts & Culture Textbooks which have sold over 100 000 copies. His many CD projects have garnered acclaim, including a SAMA Nomination as Best Instrumental Album and a review in the International Gramophone magazine. His discs include, 3 with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, 2 with the Cape Town Tango Ensemble, as well as a Piano/Vocal Album with songbird Louise Howlett.
What the Critics have Said
“Albert Combrink’s accompaniment was sensitive, supportive and never overpowered” – Die Burger
“He is a superb and humble accompanist and does his part almost unnoticed” – Die Beeld
“A darkly impassioned pianist with a powerful technique” – Durban Herald