On Friday, July 20, Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra in a unique celebration of the late Nelson Mandela on his centenary through words, video tributes and music. For this “Celebrating Mandela at 100” concert, the Orchestra is joined by two South African luminaries: Dr. Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela, the eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela, and Anant Singh, producer of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, who both serve as guest speakers. The concert, which is hosted onstage by Minnesota Public Radio’s Brian Newhouse, also includes special video tributes to Mandela and a flag procession by the Mandela Washington Fellows.
The concert features a cappella trio Insingizi and South African choral ensemble 29:11, as well as the Minnesota Chorale and Minnesota’s Better Together Choir, who perform South African choral music alongside the Orchestra. Additionally, Vänskä leads the Orchestra in movements from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Dvořák’s New World Symphony.
Continuing the centenary celebration, on Saturday, July 21, the Orchestra performs a concert featuring the world premiere of South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s tribute to Mandela, Harmonia Ubuntu, which features South African soprano Goitsemang Lehobye singing text from Mandela’s writings and speeches. Harmonia Ubuntu was commissioned for the Minnesota Orchestra’s South Africa tour by Classical Movements as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program. The concert also includes a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, led by Vänskä and featuring Lehobye along with mezzo Minette du Toit-Pearce, tenor Siyabongo Maqungo, bass-baritone Njabulo Madlala and the combined choirs from Friday evening’s concert.
The Celebrating Mandela at 100 performance is held at Orchestra Hall on Friday, July 20, 2018, at 8 p.m. Tickets for this special performance are “pay what you are able,” starting at $5.
The Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony concert is held at Orchestra Hall on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices from $29 to $96. See the conclusion of this press release for more information.
For complete profiles and other information about the guest speakers, artists and choirs participating in these concerts, please visit minnesotaorchestra.org.