Goitsemang Lehobye with the Minnesota Orchestra South Africa tour
Goitsemang Lehobye appears with the CPO and Minnesota Orchestra

PETA STEWART

Goitsemang Lehobye, one of South Africa’s favourite sopranos, will be back in Cape Town to sing in the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert to mark both the restoration of the City Hall on August 4, 2018, and to sing with the Minnesota Orchestra on its South African tour – beginning in Cape Town on August 10.

Tickets for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony on August 4 are sold out, but the dress rehearsal on 3 August at 7 pm with choir and organ and Kristi Boonzaaier’s homage to Mandela are available.

For Goitsy, who was back in June to sing in the celebration of Angelo Gobbato’s Passion for Opera and with the CPO and Heavenly Quartez in Khayelitsha, coming back to the CPO is coming home.

‘My home orchestra’

“The CPO has been my home orchestra; it has always looked out for me, given me work, and being very interested in my professional career and growth, so I really love performing with the musicians. I am happy to return and work again with the CPO under the baton of Bernhard Gueller with whom I collaborated on the Johan Botha gala. He was an absolute dream to work with… the orchestra plays so sensitively under his hand and that excites me.”  Gueller will be on the podium for all four concerts in the CPO’s  Winter Symphony Season.

Although Goitsemang Lehobye is still studying, she has already experienced many high points. Performing with tenors Neil  Schicoff and Johan Botha count among them, and so does working with Bongani Ndodana-Breen, whose song cycle of Ingrid Jonker’s poems she premiered with the CPO a couple of years ago. She will give the premiere of his new work, Harmonia Ubuntu, with the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Osmo Vänskä on July 21 in Minneapolis before bringing it on our tour to South Africa.

“I am very excited. Having worked with Bongani previously was such a great experience and the respect that I have for him as a composer and the respect that he has for me as an artist is really amazing. He is one composer who cares if the music is comfortable for you to sing. If it’s not, if he will look to tweak it to make it more suitable. I really appreciate that about him.”

Ndodana-Breen does have the utmost respect for Ms Lehoybe.

“I adore her,” he says, which bodes really well for this collaboration!

For Ms Lehobye, working with the Minnesota Orchestra is going to fabulous. “It will be amazing to perform for an American audience with an internationally acclaimed orchestra and then go on tour.”

Goitsemang Lehobye loves living in America – she is studying at the University of Ann Arbor with Daniel Washington, following her studies at UCT with Hanna van Niekerk.

“The people in Michigan are wonderful, and since my teacher Daniel Washington is here I have another reason to love it. Also, I am exposed to so much singing at such a high level. I have been hearing in live concert and opera what just used to be celebrated names to me and have had so many opportunities to sing myself.

“The education system in the universities is amazing and the health system is also good, when you have insurance, of course…”

Goitsemang Lehobye has already proved herself, and not only by being chosen by the Minnesota Orchestra. She has sung in many university productions to great acclaim and won the Friends of the Opera Prize.

In bocca al lupo, Goitsy! Break a leg!

For more music in Cape Town: https://weekendspecial.co.za/whats-on-in-cape-town-music-diary/

Who: Goitsemang Lehobye with the CPO and with the Minnesota Orchestra
Conductors: Bernhard Gueller and Osmo Vänskä
What: Mahler Resurrection Symphony and Kristi Boonzaaier’s Ode to Madiba / Beethoven Symphony No 5/ Ndodana Breen/Sibelius/Bernstein
CPO / Minnesota Orchestra Cape Town: Cape Town City Hall
When: CPO 3 August (dress rehearsal); 4 August (sold out): Minnesota 10 August, 2018
Info, book:
 www.cpo.org.za/ Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695 http://bit.ly/MahlerResurrection /
Minnesota Orchestra South Africa: https://online.computicket.com/
web/event/minnesota_orchestra/1202354294

WS