Hifa classical concert lives up to expectations

HARARE - The Harare International Festival (Hifa) Classical Music Celebration which took place over the weekend at St George’s College exposed music fans to top class entertainment by local and foreign acts.

One of the highlights of the event was the performance of the hit A song in my Heart featuring Nozuko Teto (Soprano), Bongiwe Nakani (Mezzo-Sopranno), Marco Titus (Tenor), Martin Mkhize (Baritone) and Gerald Steichen (Pianist). It was an intriguing and emotional performance awash with class and poise.

The bumper crowd was also mesmerised by a surprisingly mature performance by Heritage School Jazz Band which delivered dazzling cover versions of several hit songs that included Another Day in Paradise (Phil Collins), BP (Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana), Disappear (Winky D) and many others.

The eight piece band which includes two vocalists, six instrumentalists delighted a big crowd that was not surprisingly dominated by young fans.

Other artistes who performed over the weekend included the Prince Edward Jazz Band, Misa De Angelis, Jason Le Roux, Urban strings and Spanish star Rafael Serrallet.

Hifa associate executive director Tafadzwa Simba told the Daily News that their shows this year are going according to plan.

“The first show we had was facilitating Huntertones for the United States Embassy in February. Considering that it was one genre, the turnout was good. It was the first event of its kind — so it was extremely encouraging,” he said.

Simba added that Zimbabwe’s leading festival has lined up nine other events that will take place this year.

“We will have the Harare Theatre Season from May 12 to 16 and some of the plays include God of Carnage, a local production and Joycede from Ireland.

“The theatre week will host various themes including comedy and satire, serious plays and will feature local, regional and international performances. The concept is to have several events throughout the year but Hifa week will be back next year,” Simba said.

The Hifa associate executive director said Hifa will be much better when the six-day event resumes next year.

“We had become a teenager after 16 years of running the festival and decided that we needed to revamp and this required 18 months to prepare.

“Rather than keeping quiet we decided to space out the events which will run out throughout the whole year. We have nine more events in the pipeline. And these are part of next year’s programme,” he said.

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