William Berger (Baritone) & Albert Combrink (Piano): Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song
Presented by: St Andrew’s Concert Series
– St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cape Town
– 21 Sept 2012
– R80; R60 for senior citizens; R30 for students
– Bookings: TICKETS SOLD AT THE DOOR ONLY
– Starting Time: 8 pm
Buy the Album on AMAZON.COM
William Berger has devised an ingenious sequence of seventeen songs describing a sleepless night experienced by a man who reflects on his love for an unnamed woman. From Viennese classicism to fin-de-siècle Romanticism, shadowy English pastoral to the contemporary worlds of Richard Rodney Bennett and Raymond Yiu, this wide-ranging programme is brought to nuanced life by these outstanding artists, vividly capturing the full gamut of nocturnal emotions. The programme is based on Berger’s Debut Recital Disc, released this year on the British Label, Delphian Records – and was placed on The Guardian’s list of the 20 Top CD Releases of 2012.
Reviews of William Berger’s performances of this programme:
The Scotsman called William the ‘real deal’ after his performance of his self-devised thematic programme Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song on the 15th July at Paxton House, celebrating the release of his debut recital disc on Delphian Records. The Scotsman described William’s performance of Richard Strauss’ famous Morgen! as ‘otherworldly’ and ‘breathtaking,’ and the Herald admired his diverse programme that encompassed composers from Warlock to Debussy.
Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Abendempfindung
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Nuit d’étoiles
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): Le grillon
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Claire de lune
Peter Warlock (1894-1930): The Night
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958): Tired
Richard Rodney Bennett (b. 1936): Dream-Song
Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Auf der Bruck
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937): Kaddish
Hugo Wolf (1860-1903): Um Mitternacht
Hugo Wolf: Schon streckt’ ich aus im Bett
Gabriel Fauré: Mandoline
Gabriel Fauré: Sérénade toscane
Hugo Wolf: Nicht länger kann ich singen
Raymond Yiu (b. 1973): Sonnet (2011)
Franz Liszt (1811-1886): Oh! quand je dors
Hugo Wolf: Und steht Ihr früh am Morgen auf
Richard Strauss (1864-1949): Morgen!
Read William Berger’s explanation of the personal journey behind this recital HERE
William Berger, winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers in 1999, is an Associate and graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. He was also a member of ENO’s Young Singers Programme where his roles included amongst others Schaunard (La Boheme), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Prince Yamadori (Madam Butterfly), Fiorello (Barber of Seville), Monsieur Javelinot (The Carmelites), Second Nazarene (Salome) and Novice’s Friend (Billy Budd). Other operatic performances include working for the Liceu (Barcelona), the Festival Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, the Internationale Handel-Festspiele Göttingen, the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston) and the Mark Morris Dance Company in roles including Zebul (Jeptha), Guglielmo (Cosi fan Tutte), Papageno (Magic Flute), Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Harasta (The Cunning Little Vixen).
Having recently completed a critically acclaimed tour of California as Aeneas to Susan Graham‘s Dido with Nicolas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque, William has also performed with the CBSO, LPO, English Concert, Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Hanover Band and Cape Town Philharmonic in repertoire including Carmina Burana, Faure Requiem, Messiah, Elijah, Weinachts Oratorium, Saint-Saens’ Oratoire de Noel, Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and the world premiere of The Angry Garden by Michael Stimpson. As a recitalist he has performed at both the Wigmore Hall and Oxford Lieder Festival and has recorded for Chandos and Carus – Handel’s Samson and Dettinger Te Deum, as well as two recital recordings – October Roses and Songs of Spring.
Albert Combrink, currently a freelance pianist, completed his MMUS in Piano Performance from Natal University under Isabella Stengel, as well as three UNISA Licentiates: Piano Performance, Piano Accompaniment and Teaching (Cum Laude). He made his concerto and recording debut with the NPO at 18. Since then he has performed regularly at major centres throughout the country, as soloist and accompanist. He was finalist in the ATKV Music Competition and winner of the Young Natal Chamber Competition and UND Performer’s and Composer’s competitions after which he was commissioned to write the first Afrikaans Catholic Mass.
Albert was repetiteur for the UCT Opera School as well as Cape Town Opera, performing also as orchestral pianist and harpsichordist in operatic productions. A highlight of his career was a tour of Germany which included performing at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 2011. He has worked with directors such as Janice Honeyman, Jaco Bouwer and Marthinus Basson. He was vocal coach for the Portabello Copmany, whose production of Mozart’s Magic Flute won a London Critics’ Olivier Award in 2008, and has toured Ireland, Japan and Singapore. He has also been Music Director and Assistant MD for various productions including the New Space Theatre’s production of Sondheim’s Assassins which won two Fleur du Cap Awards.
He is much sought after as an accompanist and vocal coach, having worked with international figures such as Katherine Jenkins, Neil Shicoff and Lesley Garrett on their South African tours in addition to many of the young local stars who have made international acclaim for themselves, such as Luthando Qave, Fekile Mvinjelwa, Aubrey Lodewyk and Pretty Yende.
St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cape Town (crn Buitengracht and Somerset roads) (Map…)
Tickets are available at the door and all seats are unreserved: R80; R60 for senior citizens; R30 for students
From Buitengracht Street turn into Somerset Road, first left into Chiappini Street, then left again into Waterkant Street. Entrance to church is halfway down Waterkant Street on left hand side.
Listen to William Berger perform Mozart’s “Abendempfindung”
Read a Review of Berger’s CD in the British “The Guardian” HERE.
“His tone is beautiful, his technique immaculate. He does extraordinary things with breath control in Oh! Quand Je Dors and Wolf’s Um Mitternacht, and his sense of line is exceptional. None of the tracks disappoint.” – Tim Ashley (The Guardian – UK)
Buy the Album Insomnia: A nocturnal voyage in song with William Berger and Iain Burnside HERE.
This concert series is generously sponsored by
Contact the Director:
Home: (021) 465 4928
Cell: 083 272 6737
Pierre van Wyngaard
Home: (021) 555 4569
Cell: 083 355 6371