This past weekend my son visiting from the U.K. and I attended the 13th Classics for All Festival in Greyton, the second year that I have attended the Festival dedicated to classical music. While we could only attend three concerts, we found the quality of the performances to be of a high note. Continue reading →
I have rarely written about personal matters on my Blog. I am also long past formulating New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of a year. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that the universe would present me with a year of years in 2016, to top any I have ever experienced! Continue reading →
I had not been to Greyton in such a long time that I could not remember when last I had visited the village. I spent the past weekend in the village to attend the 12th Classics for All music festival, a total of eleven one-hour concerts held mainly in Greyton but also in Genadendal, the neighboring village. I attended about half of the program, and was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the village, enjoying the weekend re-treat! Continue reading →
Hermanus is synonymous with the annual Whale Festival. This year it is laying on a 10-day Hermanus FynArts festival, a feast of the visual arts, classical music, jazz, literature, wines, and gourmet food, a fusion of Art Festival and Winter School in a town that has long been known for being home to many leading artists. It will run from 7 – 16 June.
Over the ten days entertainment will be offered over the two weekends, while on weekdays one can attend courses and workshops on photography, ceramics, painting, drawing, writing, cooking, and viticulture. Top sculptor Dylan Lewis will exhibit his work outside the Marine Hotel and will host a talk about his work, interviewed by leading writer Christopher Hope, one of the co-founders of the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Land sculptor Strijdom van der Merwe, and co-owner of Stellenbosch restaurant Casparus, will host a photographic exhibition of his work, with a talk. Guy du Toit’s ‘Talking Hares’ will be on show at Sumaridge wine estate. Jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, photography and film will be exhibited. Ceramicists include Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, and Tania Babb, with Ardmore Ceramics exhibiting at the Marine Hotel. A National Art Competition will run alongside the festival, sponsored by the SA National Space Agency. A talk will focus on JH Pierneef, one of our country’s best artists ever.
Vintage South African movies will be screened, as well as classic Hollywood movies, in the Romantiques vintage shop.
A number of the wine farms on the impressive Hermanus Wine Route (including Hamilton Russell, Creation, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, La Vierge, and Bouchard Finlayson), as well as the art galleries in the town will host an art exhibition, and will offer special events. During the festival, concerts will take place at lunchtimes in the Anglican Church; high teas will be available at the town’s coffee shops at 15h00 each day; wine tasting and food and wine pairing can be enjoyed on the wine farms and at the town’s restaurants, with Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris and Eat Out Top 10 Chef Peter Tempelhoff cooking a dinner on 7 June; guided walks in Fernkloof nature reserve will be offered; and one can enjoy a ‘virtual tour‘ of South African wines.
The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform in the Hawston Hall in celebration of Youth Day, and UCT Head of the Opera School Professor Angelo Gobbato will talk about opera, and one of his talks will focus on ‘Celebrating Verdi’. There will be opera recitals too, including by Gobbato! Singer Zanne Stapelberg and Kathleen Tagg (South African pianist now based in New York) will perform ‘Soul of Fire’. Well-loved conductor Richard Cock will be in attendance, and the baroque Camerata Tinta Barocca will perform.
To allow a feast of ‘fine living’ without concern for drinking and driving, a hop-on hop-off bus will take festival goers to the wine estates as well as to the venues in the town. Booking opens today.
Hermanus FynArts 2013. Hermanus Tourism Bureau. www.hermanusfynarts.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The Sweet Service Award goes to Camerata Tinta Barocca, and with them the St George’s Singers, conductor Dr Barry Smith, and soloists Lente Louw and Minette du Toit-Pearce, in performing recently, without payment, at a wonderful concert of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Mozart at St Andrews in De Waterkant, to raise funds for a Re-Walk Suit for paraplegic Andrew Merryweather.
The Sour Service Award goes to Play Bar at the Baxter Theatre. The bar has an unfortunate long L-shape design, with the counter being at the back end of it. I sat down at a table in sight of the bar staff, and waited for 15 minutes for someone to take my order for a coffee. I was told that it is self-service, but there are no signs to communicate that one must place one’s order at the bar. I have been there previously, and have been served. The barman Alvin was rude in his response about why I had not been served. The (very good) cappuccino took 15 minutes to bring to the table. I asked to see a Manager, who was at the sister Act Restaurant, but he never came, so I went to find him in the restaurant. He told me that he had not been told that I wanted to see him. An attempt to order a cappuccino earlier this week failed in that it could not be served in the 15 minutes we had before the show started. The manager Kim impressed in calling the morning after reading my Tweet, and in being apologetic, and very honest about the staff problems that they have experienced.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.
The brainchild of Christopher Duigan, a gifted pianist who lives in Pietermaritzburg and who organises the classical music festivals in Franschhoek twice a year, the sponsorship by La Motte is a first.
The Music Festival opens on Friday evening 30 October with a choice of concerts, an Evening of Song with Bronwen Forbay singing opera arias and songs in the NG Church at 19h30, or clarinetist Mathew Reid and the Camerata Tinta Barocca performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at 19h00.
On Saturday 31 October Jacqueline Wedderburn-Maxwell, talented young teenage violinist, will play sonatas by Beethoven and Cesar Franck, and concert pieces by Sarasate and Paganini in the NG Church at 12h00. At the same venue a concert showcases “Rising Stars: young artists in concert” at 14h00, followed by a fun explanation session about classic music and its instruments, hosted by Christopher Duigan, at the Dennegeur Hall at 16h00. At 19h00 on the same day Ben Schoeman, an award-winning young pianist, will play music by Beethoven, Franck and Mendelssohn. At 19h30 Belle Voci takes over La Brasserie for an evening of operatic delights served with La Motte wines and a three-course meal.
On Sunday 1 November the music day starts at 9h30 with a unique combination of text and music, performed in the NG Church by pianist Anneke Lamont, Flautist Handri Loots and Violinist Elmarie van der Vyver. The pace hots up at 11h30, when Christopher Duigan plays Haendel, Beethoven, Debussy and Liszt in the NG Church. An hour later talented piano duo Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhaes perform Rachmaninoff and Arensky. At 15h30 the Stellenbosch LIbertas Choir will sing in the NG Church, and the programme includes a work called Jericho, as well as music by Haendel, Mendelssohn and Bach. At 15h30 the Festival comes to an end with performances by many of the Festival musicians at Cafe’ Bon Bon.
Ticket prices range from free to R 80 for the concerts at the NG Church. The concerts serving food and/or wine cost more. Details about the Franschhoek La Motte Classic Music Festival can be obtained at www.la-motte.com. Tickets can be bought at www.webtickets.co.za.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio www.whalecottage.com