Only Kids Aloud Chorus return from Cape Town after historic performance marking 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa
Youngsters from the Wales Millennium Centre / Only Kids Aloud Chorus have recently completed a once in a life-time trip to South Africa, which saw them perform in front of two sell-out houses at Artscape, Cape Town Opera’s home on 2 & 3 May. Their performances formed part of two concerts marking 20 Years of Freedom in South Africa. The chorus’ repertoire included a new commission by Welsh composer Paul Mealor, which received its world premiere in Cape Town. Sharing the platform with the children was multiple Grammy and Classical Brit Award winner, Bryn Terfel.
The 64 strong all Wales choir, whose members are aged between 9 and 14, performed alongside the chorus and soloists from Cape Town Opera and received standing ovations from the South African audiences for their remarkable performances on both nights.
During their time in Cape Town, as part of their educational programme, the young choristers visited Robben Island, seeing first hand where former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, spent 18 years of his 27 years of imprisonment for his stance against apartheid.
This visit helped bring even greater conviction to the choir’s performance of Mealor’s composition, ‘Spirit of Hope’, which included one of Mandela’s favourite poems, ‘Invictus’, which he wrote down on a scrap of paper as a source of inspiration during his imprisonment on the island.
‘It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul’
Invictus, by W E Henley