In Florida, USA, there are three American singers working very hard to perfect their Afrikaans pronunciation for the songs “Liefling” and “Toe Vind Ek Jou”. They have to get this performance ready before the Vrystaat Art Festival because that is where Jolanda Nel is taking her classical crossover group, Klassika.
Nel was born in South Africa and studied Opera at the Tswane University of Technology. She later emigrated to the US with her husband who is in the medical profession.
Searching for classically trained singers like her, who also like to shift the borders of classical music, she found Chris Romeo (tenor), Derek Roura (baritone) and Stephanie McCranie (soprano). They were eager to join Nel and Klassika was founded in 2012.
As to be expected, Klassika adds a sophisticated sound to songs such as The Prayer, Just The Way You Are, Unchained Melody, My Way, La Voix, All Of Me, and of course the two Afrikaans songs.
Nel said that, for many years, she performed in operatic productions and sang in the USA, Canada, England, Italy, and South Africa.
“I have always enjoyed classical crossover and dreamt about performing in that genre”
Over the last seven years, Klassika developed into a “very professional group that performs at private functions, corporate events, in theaters, festivals, and many different events. We even made our international debut in Ireland in 2016”
Nel does all Klassika’s marketing and is always on the lookout to find new opportunities. “My dream was to take Klassika to South Africa! This came true when we were invited to perform at the Vrystaat Art Festival. Klassika can not wait to visit South Africa for the first time”
Johan Kelber from Pretoria does Klassika’s arrangements and will join them on stage as keyboardist.
July 3 @ 10am and July 4 @ 13:00 at the Kopanong Kovsiekerk. R120 – Computicket
Written By Elretha Britz
Arts Editor: Volksblad