Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek

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Mezzo soprano Violina Anguelov.
Mezzo soprano Violina Anguelov.

Great news for music lovers in the Western Cape, this year’s eagerly awaited three-day Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek runs at end October.

During one weekend of music-making from Friday 30 October to Sunday 1 November 2015, those in and around the scenic and historic town of Franschhoek will have a rare opportunity to indulge in an extraordinary series of concerts. The Marriott Classic Music Festival in Franschhoek, now in its 13th year, once again presents a unique choice of musical experiences held in the historic NG Church and the Café Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine.

Mexican guitarist Morgan Symanski
Mexican guitarist Morgan Symanski

Those performing this year include a well-known trio of superb concert and opera singers, Beverley Chiat, Violina Anguelov and Lokhyano Mayoke; internationally renowned Cape Town-based jazz saxophonist, Mike Rossi; the London-based Mexican guitarist, Morgan Szymanski, who performs with Cape Town guitarist and festival favourite, James Grace; and well-known South African pianist Christopher Duigan.

Presented by Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival, the festival holds a unique place in the local music landscape with Duigan active as performer and producer. This dual role has won the festival a loyal following over the past few years, one that attracts more people each year annually. “We strive to include a range of musical styles and genres in the concerts but always with the emphasis on happy working relationships; where the friendship off the stage leads to great enthusiasm, brought together by mutual love of music, onstage,” says Duigan.

Saxophonist Mike Rossi.
Saxophonist Mike Rossi.

Concerts in the NG Church include ‘Two Guitars’ with Morgan Szymanski and James Grace on Friday evening. This is Szymanski’s only duo performance in the Cape region on his national tour with fellow Royal College of Music, London graduate, James Grace. Mike Rossi and Duigan, one of South Africa’s most versatile pianists, collaborate in a truly creative crossover programme that explores the music from jazz to classical realms in ‘Stardust’.

This follows on recent performances in KZN and at the Hilton Festival. Their on-going project was brought about through a chance meeting though mutual colleague, pianist Darius Brubeck. Duigan stays true to his classical training with a piano recital on Sunday morning of classical masterpieces including Beethoven’s ‘Tempest’ Sonata.

“I am delighted to return to Franschhoek with the company of some excellent international and local musicians to do what we enjoy most: share music with others,” comments Duigan.

Tenor Lokhyano Mayoke.
Tenor Lokhyano Mayoke.

The popular restaurant and concert venue Cafe Bon Bon hosts a jazz concert of Cole Porter and Gershwin standards with the Mike Rossi Quartet and a Festival Finale on Sunday afternoon with a variety of musicians in an easy-going programme, both of which will take place outdoors under the historic oak trees, weather permitting. On Saturday evening the venue hosts a glamorous evening of opera arias and songs, titled, ‘I Want to Sing in Opera’, bringing together enchanting performances by three of Cape Town’s most celebrated voices – Beverley Chiat, Violina Anguelov and young tenor Lokhyano Mayoke – in one extraordinary concert.

Pianist and music entrepreneur Christopher Duigan.
Pianist and music entrepreneur Christopher Duigan.

Speaking on behalf of all the participating musicians, Duigan says: “We look forward to seeing many old friends and also showing many new ones why we as artists enjoy the festival as much as the audience. Franschhoek is unique, and offers something special for everyone. And we enjoy bringing our own special magic to Franschhoek and being part of the extraordinary ambience the town has to offer for the duration of the weekend.”

To book for Café Bon Bon’s dinner and lunch concerts, call Marie-Louise on 021 876 3936. For the concerts at the Franschhoek NG Church, tickets at R100 are available at www.webtickets.co.za and at the door.

For more information, visit www.franschhoekclassic.co.za

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