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Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth

When: Saturday, 27 May 2023
Where: Great Hall
Start time:19:00

Lerato Sekele

Cost: R 150.00

The Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth is supported by The Wits School of Arts, National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Amandla Freedom Ensemble led by Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2019 Mandla Mlangeni, will once again bring The Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth to the stage, and reimagine jazz through the lens of poetry, classical musings and the ‘black consciousness’ legacy in South Africa.   

The collaborative endeavour will culminate in an album launch and grand performance of Jozi’s strongest forces within the jazz, classical and indigenous music scene. The Oratorio will be performed at The Wits Great Hall in Johannesburg on 27 May, and features The Brother Moves The Vivacious Sounds Choir, acclaimed sand artist Tawanda Mu Afrika, esteemed academic, pianist and scholar Yonela Mnana and a libretto by award winning poet and theatre practitioner, Lesego Rampolokeng.

 “Our foray into the classical world is an opportunity to give voice to new expression within the structural confines of Western Art, while also drawing from the deep well of indigenous music by creating cultural  avenues that allow for audiences to tap into new and unimagined worlds”, says Mlangeni.  The production, commemorating the June 16 and Fees Must Fall events through a musical and theatrical narrative, reflects the turbulence that South Africa finds itself in.

The seemingly disjointed genre of arts is attractive in its audacity to re-imagine a cutting edge jazz ensemble paired with The Resonance Strings - Johannesburg’s premiere string quartet - and the Vivacious Sounds Choir.  One is bound to be drawn to the boldness of the project in that it will create new and interesting narratives, juxtaposed with choral renditions of the struggles of our past, while swinging through the perplexities of our present day and cementing the foundations of our future.

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