Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
The "Coming Home" concert - an innovative fusion of gospel and classical music - on Saturday at the Johannesburg City Hall, promises to be a cracker of a show.
Opera singer Sibongile Mngoma is set to shine at the concert. She is one of the few singers that are fast making their mark in opera.
Mngoma and others from the black community have over the past few years helped in making opera accessible to a wider audience by giving the genre a black profile and, significantly, a black face by excelling in it.
If the history of opera in the country in general and the participation of black talent in it, is written today, her name is sure to be mentioned among the top five black participants in this art form. Today, we now have a significant number of black exponents of this art form.
Mngoma was one of the earliest musicians to follow this art form long before it became sexy to do so, making her one of the black pioneers in this genre.
The opera singer is set to shine this weekend and show what she is made of musically when she takes to the stage at the Johannesburg City Hall with, among others, her aunt Sibongile Khumalo, who ironically started her music career as an opera singer. She is now a well respected jazz vocalist with countless awards behind her.
In a concert aptly called "Coming Home", Mngoma will perform as a soloist accompanying the Gauteng Choristers, the Chamber Orchestra of Johannesburg and an all-star jazz rhythm section conducted by Kutlwano Masote.
Mngoma and the rest of the musicians, who include Thinus Maree (baritone) and Robert Brookes, will perform a jazz gospel cantata composed by Isak Roux sung and spoken in English, Zulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans, making it uniquely South African in terms of resonance.
For the 2008 Festival, Miagi has commissioned composer, arranger and pianist Roux to compose a full jazz gospel cantata. The cantata will be sung and spoken in English, Zulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans.
Roux's work is deeply rooted in Africa. It draws from traditional American spirituals and township jazz rhythms, using ethnic instrumental elements such as Venda horns, penny whistles, djembe drums and marimbas.
This unique African texture is interestingly juxtaposed with the classical through a structure that draws from the classical cantata.
"Coming Home" is Roux's attempt to bring traditional spiritual music - often associated with America - back to its ancestral home.
To this end, the narratives of the spirituals are re-interpreted and translated into South Africa's indigenous languages, to create "a triumphant vision of our past, present and future as a testimony to the power and creative endurance of the human spirit," says Roux.