Grahame Davies provided the words for the first movement of a new commission by composer Professor Paul Mealor to celebrate 20 years of democracy n South Africa.
The Only Kids Aloud Chorus performed in Cape Town in a musical celebration as part of the country’s year-long cultural programme: 20 Years of Freedom – South Africa 1994 – 2014. The chorus performed a new commission by Welsh composer Paul Mealor. The commission includes ‘Invictus’, a favourite poem of Nelson Mandela and one that inspired him deeply.
During a historic visit to Cape Town, South Africa in April, the chorus performed two concerts at the Artscape Theatre Centre on Cape Town’s waterfront as part of the Africa-UK arts and culture season in 2014 to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid rule and the establishment of democracy in South Africa.
Joining the Only Kids Aloud Chorus were the multiple Grammy and Classical Brit Award winner, Bryn Terfel in his debut performance in South Africa.
The first movement of the piece, which is called, ‘Spirit of Hope’,is a setting of a specially written poem by Grahame Davies in English and Welsh. The second movement set the poem, ‘My Song’ by Indian mystic, Rabindranath Tagore, and the final movement is the first ever setting of Nelson Mandela’s favourite poem, ‘Invictus’, by English poet, William Ernest Henry. It also includes the two African songs: ‘Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika’ (God Bless Africa), the unofficial anthem of South Africa before the elections of 1994, now part of the democratic country’s official anthem, and ‘Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos' (We are marching in the Light of God).
The U.K. Premiere of the piece will be in the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on July 11th.
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