On Sunday December 8, Westwood International School in Gaborone will play host to a number of talented and aspiring musicians from across the SADC region that will take part in the second breaking barriers opera competitions.
The opera competitions are organised by Performing Arts Initiative Trust (PAINT) together Melodi Ya Dinnoto, a local Sunday programme that airs on Botswana Television.
The concert will start at 3pm.
Opera, is a staged drama set to music in its entirety, made up of vocal pieces with instrumental accompaniment and usually with orchestral overtures and interludes.
According to the organiser of the competition concert Reggie ‘Bra Kopi’ Kopi, this is aimed at developing and training singers in classical genre.
Kopi said after having the privilege of singing professionally abroad in the early 2000, he came home to set up the trust.
He said he believed that it is through the trust that he will get assistance to help improve the level of performing arts in the country.
Amongst those big in the game that have been invited include South African baritone Otto Maidi, Nosipho Majola, Juan Burgers and Ashan Pires. Burgers will workshop the youthful competitors while Pires will be the judge. “There are a number of sectors in the arts but for now we are looking at developing singers as soloists in classical genre. We have found ways to improve music as an economic enabler,”
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Kopi said he believes music is another sector with potential to contribute meaningfully to economic growth, a case similar to other countries.
However, he said this could only be achieved through establishing proper formal educational structures that value performing arts, which would open doors for exportation of local music products.
“We don’t have structures that allow form five school leavers to go to university to study music and the breaking barriers singing competition is all about that. Gaolefe Kombani who won the competition in 2013 graduated at MCE, which was a fulfilment on our side. We were supported by the European Union while Mmegi was our media partner,” he added.
For the competition, Kopi said about 100 people had shown the interest to be part of the event, but they had to trim the number down to 24. He stated that they have grouped the contestants into categories of Beginners and Masters.
There will also be awards for Best Male singer, Best Female singer, Most Promising singer and Overall Best Performer.
Tickets for the competition concert sell for P100 standard and P250 VIP.