The 2024 season of RMB Starlight Classics opens with the first of this year’s outdoor concerts, hosted on 1 and 2 March at Vergelegen Wine Farm in Somerset West.
This impressive showcase of exceptional South African talent includes internationally celebrated classical soprano, Goitsemang Lehobye, and acclaimed tenor, Lunga Hallam. They will be joined by singer, actress and storyteller Zolani Mahola, and inspirational Afrikaans singer-songwriter, Jo Black, together with chart-topping, electronic music band, GoodLuck, and Jimmy Nevis, the versatile, urban R&B pop artist.
The audience can also look forward to being mesmerised by the young virtuoso pianist Gerhard Joubert, while the Cape Town Opera Chorus and Cape Philharmonic Orchestra – with conductors, Brandon Philips and Chevonne Plaatjies – will add to the depth, breadth and dynamism of the evening’s musical experience.
The show, an AfroSymphonic extravaganza, with a vast range of performers – all at different stages of their careers – is co-hosted by musical-maestro Richard Cock and dynamic TV and radio personality, Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, directed by Darren Hayward and musically directed by James Bassingthwaighte,
Over the course of its nearly 25-year history, RMB Starlight Classics have awed and inspired audiences with its diverse program that ranges from innovative performances of classical greats to the soulful sounds of opera, joyful moments of acapella, and the smooth sounds of Afrosoul, punctuated with energetic moments of rock and pop.
While audiences embrace the magical mix of performing and musical styles, the appeal of RMB Starlight Classics also comes from the evident joy that young performers experience from collaborating with seasoned artists, and the invaluable exchange of energy and ideas that takes place on the stage.
“It takes considered planning and a highly skilled team to deliver to the exceptionally high standard that the audience expects while unlocking each artist’s full potential,” says Darren Hayward, “and to sustain this year on year, for well over two decades, feels like a major achievement.”
“At the heart of RMB’s drive to unlock the enormous wealth of creative potential in South Africa, is a deliberate and focused effort to enable and nurture talent, ultimately helping to strengthen the greater creative economy,” says RMB’s Carolynne Waterhouse.
“While we love every minute of how a three thousand five hundred-strong audience lights their candles to magically enhance an evening of optimism and possibility, our team celebrates yet another opportunity to contribute to the creative economy and transform the lives of so many talented people,” comments Richard Cock.
“It’s the unwritten story of how the event has changed the lives of artists, many of whom often made their debut appearance on the Starlight stage, and how it has economically supported the lives of lighting and sound engineers, costume designers and a vast crew of event and production staff that renders this well-established partnership with talent and the arts, something to celebrate,” concludes Waterhouse.