CT Tango Ensemble News

April 30, 2010

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

Dear Musiclover

We are extremely happy that we have so many supporters – I think it is OK to call them fans? – who have contributed to our success. Our performance at the Waterfront was a success and we are planning our trip to Gauteng. I will be playing Tango concerts in addition to classical music concerts in Singapore in June – and naturally promote and sell the albums while I am there. So there is much activity going on!

Our latest CD is selling well, and the launch was an enormous success. We are getting regular radio time, and people are listening to our muisc! It has also generated a new wave of interest in our first CD. This email is to summarise where it is easiest to buy the discs or downloadable tracks, and to give you some recent reviews.

The cheapest way is obvioulsy to buy the discs directly from the group members. (Contact me for details). And we always have discs to sell directly at our many gigs and concerts. But many of our friends and fans live far away and need to buy it through a regular outlet.

I would appreciate it if you would forward this mail to anybody you know who might be interested in Argentine Tango, the music of Astor Piazzolla, or simply beautiful music. People living overseas would also find it easy to shop at the Online Distributer we have set up below. All the sites enable you to Listen Before You Buy. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

CT Tango Ensemble’s new CD Tango Club will be on sale at branches of Look & Listen throughout South Africa. Our first CD El Tango en Africa  is on sale locally through RhythmMusicStore.
Both our CD’s – Tango Club and El Tango en Africa – are also on sale internationally in album format and as downloadable MP3 tracks from iTunes and CDBaby – just click the links below.

 
Listen to El Tango en Africa here:
http://www.albertcombrink.com/2010/04/24/el-tango-en-africa-demo-tracks-from-the-cd-with-the-ct-tango-ensemble/

Buy El Tango en Africa here:
in Rands: http://rhythmmusicstore.com/music/58/Cape-Town-Tango-Ensemble/El-Tango-En-Africa
and in Dollars: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ctte

Read Reviews of El Tango en Africa here:
http://www.albertcombrink.com/2010/04/24/reviews-of-the-cd-el-tango-en-africa-by-the-cape-town-tango-ensemble/

Listen to Tango Club here: http://www.albertcombrink.com/2010/04/17/tango-club-demo-tracks/

Buy Tango Club here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ctte2

Read Reviews of Tango Club here:
http://www.albertcombrink.com/2010/04/11/reviews-of-tango-club-by-the-ct-tango-ensemble

Thanks very much and hope you have a day filled with love and music!

Albert Combrink

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

Released March 2010 on Good Music World - http://www.goodmusic.co.za

Passionate fun ~ Zane Henry, Argus (Tonight) – 23 March 2010, p.3

The rich sounds and fine musicianship are a pleasure to listen to even if you have never done the tango ~ Dominic Wardall, The Big Issue – 9 April 2020, p.37

Fans can expect to hear and see something quite extraordinary ~ Jason Curtis, Cape Times (Arts)- 23 March 2010, p.10

The album artwork is equally compelling. ~ Jason Curtis, Cape Times (Arts) – 23 March 2010, p.10

… nie net ‘n fees vir die oor nie, maar ook vir die oog.
(Transl. Not just a feast for the ear, but also for the eye) ~
Arts Editor, Rapport (My Tyd), 21 March 2010, p.4

The Baxter gets steamy… ~ Zane Henry, Argus (Tonight) – 23 March 2010, p.3

This is definitely not just another Tango CD – it is the second original South African Tango CD. ~ Editor, Thingstodocapetown 19 March 2010

This exciting new offering has a real South African twist that sets their work apart from others and explores the boundary of jazz and other modern Latin genres.Mark Hoeben, Thingstodocapetown – 19 March 2010

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

All photos by Angelos Papakonstantino

Charles Lazar

Stanislav Angelov

James Grace

Albert Combrink

Jacek Domagala

Willie van Zyl

Kevin Gibson on Drums

Jenny Altshuler and Calvin Enslin

Stanislav Angelov

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

Photos in this post by Angelos Papakonstantino

For more photographs please see the following two blog posts:

~ CT Tango Ensemble CD Launch PHOTOS – “Tango Club” at the Baxer (2)

~ CT Tango Ensemble CD Launch PHOTOS – “Tango Club” at the Baxer (3) (Black & White)

Baxter Concert Hall packed to the brim

Charles Lazar

Albert CombrinkViolinist Jacek DomagalaJames GraceWillie van ZylMark Hoeben, Zdenka Buriankova and Albert Combrink

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

“Sweeter than Roses” – English and Italian songs of the joys of love by Purcell, Britten, Mozart, Sondheim incl. “My Fair Lady”

DATE: Sunday, 25 April 2010

TIME: 15:00 – 16:30

VENUE: Masque Theatre – 37 Main Road, Muizenberg

BOOKING DETAILS: 021 – 788 1898 (Mon. to Fri. 09:00 to 16:00)

TICKETS: R60 (R50 Theatre Club members – regrettably no Credit Card Bookings available)

“Sweeter than Roses” – English and Italian songs of the joys of love by Purcell, Britten, Mozart, Sondheim incl. “My Fair Lady”
This delightful programme of mostly English songs explores the joys and dreams of young lovers through the songs of Purcell (“If music be the food of love”), Britten’s famous Folksong settings (“The Foggy, foggy dew”) and operatic extracts by Mozart, that master of comic characterisation. The three singers and pianist are all noted for their variety and perform in different styles, taking the audience through a tale of love lost, found and lost again. Shirley Sutherland will lead the second half of the programme with extracts from “My Fair Lady”, the show in which she had a major triumph at the Artscape Theatre in 2008. Louise Howlett, a veteran stage performer, will include extracts from her soon-to-be released second CD from the musicals “Cats” and “A Little Night Music”. Baritone John Hardie – winner of various awards such as the Leonard Hall Memorial Prize – is the perfect foil for the two ladies. He will be the Figaro to their Suzanna and Cherubino and the Don Giovanni to their Zerlinas. The programme will reflect the more playful aspect of young love, from the charm and beauty of setting of Shakespeare to more contemporary and popular music. The fact that most of the songs are in English makes this a programme with instant appeal for audiences of all ages. The keyword is variety, and versatility is what this set of performers are known for.

Meet the perfromers

Pianist and presenter Albert Combrink

Pianist Albert Combrink devised and compiled the programme as well making musical arrangements and accompanying the singers. He has worked as accompanist and musical director from the opera house to the musicals stage. Magic Flute (Isango Portabello) won a London Critics’ Olivier Award and  Assassins (New Space Theatre) won two Fleur du Caps. International arrtists with whom he has worked include American soprano Judith Kellock and British superstar Lesley Garrett. Recordings as orchestral member and soloist with orchestras include works by Hendrik Hofmeyr and Alfred Schnittke with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. His broad interest in music has enabled him to put on a number of off-beat and unusual programmes. These include Ladies & Ladders (Kalfiefees), Dangerous Liaisons (Beau Soleil), and Moonlight Serenade (Kirstenbosch Chamber Music Series) – the latter in collaboration with Louise Howlett). He has been musical director of the Rotary Opera in a Convent Garden since 2007. He is member of the CT Tango Ensemble which recently launched its second CD Tango Club to a sell-out audience at the Baxter Theatre.

Soprano Louise Howlett: equally at home from Bach to Blues

Soprano Louise Howlett studied singing at the Royal College of Music in London, with Margaret Cable. She performed at the Bergen Festival and Edinburgh Main and Fringe Festivals, as well as performing in the award winning production of The Ragged Child at the Sadlers Wells Theatre. Originally classically trained, her love of jazz and the musicals led her to create her own unique combination of classical, broadway and jazz “Across the Styles” projects out of which her “Serenade” series was born.  These productions can vary from classical versions, to jazz standard evenings to the full range of genres blended into one programme. She has performed with great success at various venues and festivals including the Kirstenbosch Winter Chamber Music Series, the Greyton Rose Festival, and most recently at the Baxter Theatre. In one season she performed both in the classical line-up of Barry Smith’s Concert Series at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and at the Big Blues Festival in Kleinmond.

Baritone John  Hardie studied singing at UCT and Stellenbosch University and his teachers include Sarita Stern, Nellie du Toit and Marita Napier. He sang with Capab Opera for 3 years taking part in productions of “Albert Herring” and “Cosi fan Tutte”. He won the College of Music Opera prize in 1988 and 1989, the Friends of the Nico Malan Opera Prize in 1990, the Leonard Hall memorial Prize in 1991. He has performed professionally with accompanists such as Albie van Schalkwyk, Tommy Rajna and Neil Solomon.

Shirley Sutherland entertains in musicals and opera

Soprano Shirley Sutherland has proven her versatility in the fields of Opera, Muiscals and Oratorio. With Cape Town Opera she toured Sweden and Germany in productions of Rusalka, and Showboat. Her many awards include the Cape Times Best Actress Award for her role of Roxy in Chicago. She has been seen in concert around the country, including Richard Cock’s Last Night of the Proms and various oratorios.

Read more about some of the works on the programme on the following posts:

~ Benjamin Britten Folksong (re)settings: when artsong meets folksong

~ Schoenberg to Sondheim: Louise Howlett & Albert Combrink perform at Kirstenbosch

~ Breaking Rules: Discussing performers who cross over different styles and genres

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.comTango Club – CT Tango Ensemble launch their new CD: Baxter Concert Hall 23 March 2010, 8pm

“Close your eyes and Listen”. The opening track on Tango Club – the CT Tango Ensemble’s new CD – invites you to do just that. But you will be forgiven for keeping your eyes open during the CD Launch performance to be held at the Baxter Concert Hall, 23 March 2010, at 8 pm. Featuring dancers as well as the music played by the group, the evening promises to be a display of tango virtuosity – a feast for the eyes and ears. The group has been polishing its tango shoes for over a decade and has attracted media attention and radio and television airtime throughout South Africa, and as far afield as Buenos Aires and Bulgaria. They have been seen on stage and in concert halls throughout the country, at all the major festivals such as Aardklop, Grahamstown and Klein Karoo Nationale Kunstefees. The four musicians, Stanislav Anguelov (Accordion and Bandoneon), Albert Combrink (Piano), Jacek Domagala (Violin) and Charles Lazar (Double Bass) are all classically trained but all have played in cross-over and jazz fields, making them ideal for interpreting the special Latin feel of the Tango. Guest artists from the CD will join the ensemble in the Launch Spectacular at the Baxter Concert Hall. Acclaimed musicians James Grace (Guitar), Willie van Zyl (Saxophone) and Kevin Gibson (drums) were guest artists on the album and will bring their special magic to the Launch.

The latest CD is a new departure for the CT Tango Ensemble. The music is funkier and more modern than their very popular previous CD El Tango en Africa – which caused such a stir in the local music industry and tango community when it was first released. The new CD includes music by Astor Piazzolla, the “father” of Argentinean “Tango Nuevo “. This ensemble has made a name for itself as a leading interpreter of Piazzolla in various shows: Heinrich Riesenhofer’s El Beso – The Kiss (Little Theatre – with choreography by Mareli Schröter), Marthinus Basson’s Tango Del Fuego (Oude Libertas etc.) and even on eTv’s Backstage where they performed with TangoCapeTown’s Mark Hoeben and Ina Wichterich. Shows such as The Tango Experience and All you ever wanted to know about Tango but were too afraid to ask, written and directed by Mark Hoeben, took the Tango Ensemble as far afield as Namibia, giving them many opportunites to learn the particular styles of music found in the wide genre of Tango.

Stanislav Anguelov has even performed Piazzolla’s classical Bandoneon Concerto with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Very exciting news is that the CD includes original music composed by members of the Ensemble. Anguelov’s Tango Made in Africa was the pivotal composition for the group’s first CD, which explored the links between African and Latin American Music and included Dizu Plaatjies on the Djembe Drum. The latest CD introduces more Jazz and pop elements with the inclusion of instruments such as the Saxophone and a Drumkit. Anguelov’s pieces combine the styles of traditional tango with more contemporary language. His Addios has been a firm favourite whenever they perform it live. The track, Cape Town Tango, celebrates Anguelov’s “transplant” from Bulgaria to the Cape of Good Hope – which has seen him share the stage with superstars Queen and Sir Bob Geldof at the 2003 Nelson Mandela 46664 Concert. The song is infused with a Cape Town Jazz feel, and is set to be one of the hits from the new disc.

The CD also features the vocals of Argentine-born South African Adriana Edwards, currently living in Japan. Anguelov’s song Tango Club was commissioned by the Movie Director Christopher Rodrigues for his film The First and Last Loves of Leonardo Lopes. Hence the lyrics by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated into Spanish by vocalist Adriana) were chosen by the director to suit the characters & scene in the film. Originally the song was intended for one scene only but after hearing the composition Christopher fell in love with this song and used section from it a few times in the film. Music of the CT Tango Ensemble was used throughout the film.

Berklee College of Music Graduate Charles Lazar composed two songs for the disc. Temperance features the beautiful guitar solos of James Grace. Lazar’s pieces are the most Jazz-influenced on the disc. His jazz experience makes a critical contribution to the ensemble. Drummer Kevin Gibson and jazz saxophonist Willie van Zyl are the other guest artists who bring a funky jazz style to the new CD

Jacek Domagala, who also plays First Violin with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, brings classical virtuosity to the earthiness of the Tango. Domagala and Anguelov perform often as a duo with a Mediterranean flavor, and his style his perfectly suited to both the poplar and the classical elements of this music.

Albert Combrink is a pianist who works in a variety of genres, both as classical pianist and popular musician and has been seen on stages around the country. He is also the arranger of some material on the disc.

The Launch of Tango Club will be held on the stage of the Baxter Concert Hall, with LIVE DANCING. CD’s will be on sale after the show.

Booking through computicket.

Tickets: R95 adults, R85 Student and pensioner’s discount

CD’s for sale at LAUNCH SPECIAL PRICE: R100 each

Stanislav Anguelov

Jacek Domagala

Jacek Domagala

Charles Lazar

Albert Combrink

Kevin Gibson on drums

James Grace appears courtesy of Stringwise Records

Willie vanZyl

Adriana Edwards

Ensemble Photos by Jenny Altschuler

King Kong, the first All African Jazz Opera 1958

 King Kong is of course one of the most famous American films ever made (and remade). The story of the giant ape transported from a faraway island to New York, captured the imagination of millions since its first release in 1933. South Africa however, has its own King Kong. In 1958 King Kong became the first all African Jazz Opera, with a star studded local cast including Miriam Makeba and the Manhattan Brothers, Kippie Moeketsi, Abigail Kubheka and Hugh Masekela.

Opera in a Convent Garden, an annual concert held at Springfield Convent School (St. John’s Road, Wynberg), this year features a delightful choral extract from this work.  Albert Horne, chorus master of Cape Town Opera, made an arrangement of the famous number Back of the Moon, which will be performed by the Cape Town Opera Voice of the Nation Ensemble – South Africa’s premier opera chorus.

Miranda Tini

Soloists will be Cape Town favourites Shirley Sutherland (My Fair Lady) and  Miranda Tini, whose extraordinary voice has thrilled audiences locally and internationally in roles as diverse as Jezibaba from Dvorak’s Rusalka and Mariah in Porgy and Bess praised at the Cardiff Millennium Centre in Wales, for her “powerful stage presence and equally powerful voice.” (Bill Kenny: Music Web International) 

Cape Town Opera chorus’ experience with Jazz influenced works such as Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess make them ideal interpreters of this neglected work from the South African cultural heritage.

In 1956, the Syndicate of African Artists commissioned Todd Matshikiza to write a large work for choir and orchestra. The composer had written successful choral works before, but since no orchestra was available, Uxolo was created on a massive scale for choirs and brass band. The success of this work – with its jazzy undertones, led in part to the creation of the musical/Jazz Opera King Kong. Lyrics were by Pat Williams. Matshikiza wrote the music as well of some of the lyrics (some in African languages).

Miriam Makeba: Our beloved "Mama Africa"

Lead roles were taken by Nathan Mdledle and Miriam Makeba, who created the role of Shebeen Queen Joyce, the matriarch running the Back of the Moon watering hole. This role brought Mama Africa Makeba international attention and launched a singing career that sustained her throughout her life as an Apartheid exile. The 63 member cast was backed by the cream of South Africa’s jazz musicians, including the now legendary reed player Kippie Moketsi

 

Opening early in 1959 at the Wits University Great Hall, the show was an immediate success. By the time the show travelled to London in 1961, 200 000 South Africans, had seen the show. The life of boxer Ezekial Dhlamini was good material for a stage work. His meteoric rise to the top of South Africa’s boxing world as the famous ‘King Kong’ was in sad contrast to his descent into drunkenness, violence and murder. He killed himself by drowning at age 32. Matshikiza had covered Dhlamini’s 1950’s trial for treason as a journalist and was aboviously well-acquainted with his subject matter. According to The Daily Mail & Guardian, “Matshikiza understood his central character, and, more importantly, understood the whole world that surrounded ‘King Kong’. He understood the whole black world of the townships that fed Johannesburg and the histories of the people who filled those townships.” ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

 

Composer and author Todd Matshikiza

Todd Matshikiza (1921-1968)  is considered by many, as belonging to the royalty of South African music. One of a family of 10 – all of whom instrumentalists and singers –  Todd started piano lessons at the age of 6. As an adult he ran the Todd Matshikiza School of Music, where he also taught the piano. From 1949 to 1954, Matshikiza was a committee member of the Syndicate of African Artists. This group aimed to promote music in the townships by getting visiting artists to perform there. Finding it difficult to make a living as a jazz musician, he joined the editorial staff of Drum Magazine.  He wrote a jazz column covering the township scene, particularly in Sophiatown, where he commented on the likes of Kippie Moeketsi and Hugh Masekela who both played for the The Jazz Epistles. He also covered township life in his regular column With the lid off.

South African arts bosses should take note:  the time is surely right for a revival of King Kong. With musicians such as Albert Horne taking such an active interest in the history of black jazz in this country, it would be a pleasant surprise if the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology would also take such an active interest in the preservation of this piece of cultural heritage.

  Read more about Todd Matshikiza at africancomposers.co.za and sacomposers.co.za

Other works on the programme Opera in a Convent Garden  include operatic extracts such as Juliet’s Waltz Song from Gounod’s opera Romeo e Juliette, the Doll Song from Offenbach’s Les Contes D’Hoffmann. Musicals The Student Prince and Show Boat round out a programme designed to please all ages. The accompanists are pianists Albert Horne and Albert Combrink.

When: Sunday 7 February 2010

Time: 17h30

Where: Springfield Convent School (St. John’s Road, Wynberg, Cape Town)

Price: Adults R100 / Scholars R20

Bookings: 076 696 4630

Chorus Master Albert Horne with the Cape Town Opera Voice of the Nation Ensemble

My Blog has moved to www.albertcombrink.com

Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink present “Blues in the Night” at the Kleinmond The Big Blue(s) Festival on Jan 10 2010. Taken from their latest CD “Night Sessions”, this programme of songs is inspired by the Night, the Blues, and the great singers who have sung the Blues: Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Eva Cassidy are amongst the vocalists that provide the inspiration for a fresh look at these ever-popular songs. The songs such as  “Old Devil Moon”, “Round Midnight” and  “Fly me to the Moon”, will take you on a personal journey of musical and personal memories of love, longing, and everything else. As always, Louise puts her own spin on the songs, and the team makes their own arrangements of all the material.

The programme will include songs from Louise and Albert’s latest CD “Night Sessions” as well as songs from Louise’s first CD “Your Song”. Louise and Albert have been seen in a variety of programmes from Classical to Jazz to Pop, in programmes such as  “Cinema Serenade” and “Moonlight Serenade” which they presented at the Baxter Theatre, Die Boer Theatre, The Greyton Rose Festival and the Kirstenbosch Chamber Music Breakfast series, to name but a few.

Read more about Louise and Albert’s “Cinema Serenade” HERE

Read more about “The Big Blue Festival” HERE

Louise and Albert share the stage with an exciting  line-up of top South African Artists.

Anton Goosen

Boulevard Blues Band

Coda

Akkedis

Dan Patlansky

Diamondback

In the Deepend

Matthew Kruger

Get directions to The Big Blue(s) Festival  in Kleinmond HERE

 

SWEETER copy weblarge 

  “Sweeter than Roses”

 – English and Italian songs of the joys of love by
Purcell, Britten, Mozart, Sondheim incl. “My Fair Lady”
This delightful programme of mostly English songs explores the joys and dreams of young lovers through the songs of Purcell (“If music be the food of love”), Britten’s famous Folksong settings (“The Foggy, foggy dew”) and operatic extracts by Mozart, that master of comic characterisation. The three singers are all noted for their variety and can perform in different styles. Shirley Sutherland will lead the second half of the programme with extracts from “My Fair Lady”, the show in which she had a major triumph at the Artscape Theatre in 2008. Louise Howlett, a veteran stage performer, will include extracts from her soon-to-be released second CD from the musicals “Cats” and “A Little Night Music”. Baritone John Hardie – winner of various awards such as the Leonard Hall Memorial Prize – is the perfect foil for the two ladies. He will be the Figaro to their Suzanna and Cherubino and the Don Giovanni to their Zerlinas. The programme will reflect the more playful aspect of young love, from the charm and beauty of setting of Shakespeare to more contemporary and popular music. The fact that most of the songs are in English makes this a programme with instant appeal for audiences of all ages. The keyword is variety, and versatility is what this set of performers are known for.

Lindbergh Arts Foundations – 18 Beach Road, Muizenberg

R105 Including Snacks

Booking 021 788 2795
Louise Howlett (Soprano)
Louise Howlett, originally from England, studied at the Royal College of Music in London, with Margaret Cable where she featured in a number of competitions and masterclasses.  As a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, Louise toured to the Bergen Festival and Edinburgh Main and Fringe Festivals, aswell as performing in the award winning production of The Ragged Child at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London. She performed in television productions of both The Ragged Child and the opera of The Tailor of Gloucester.
Louise came to South Africa in 1993 to work as Organiser for the National Chamber Orchestra in the North West Province, and soon decided to make South Africa her home.  She sang on many occasions with the NCO including a number of corporate functions in Sun City and Johannesburg. She also performed in a number of Oratoria including Nelson Mass, The Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria, and was involved in choral training workshops and master classes. In March 1999 she moved to Cape Town where she is now based.  Her Cape Town debut took place with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at their Kirstenbosch Millennium Concert; but her love of jazz and the musicals led her to create her own unique combination of classical, broadway and jazz “Across the Styles” projects out of which her “Serenade” series was born.  These productions can vary from classical versions, to jazz standard evenings to the full range of genres blended into one programme. She has performed with great success at various venues and festivals including the Kirstenbosch Winter Chamber Music Series, the Greyton Rose Festival, and most recently at the Baxter Theatre.

Louise is a regular presenter on Fine Music Radio.  Her programme “For the Love of Opera” features all the latest news and reviews of opera around the world today.

 
John  Hardie (Baritone)
John studied singing at UCT and Stellenbosch University and his teachers include Sarita Stern, Nellie du Toit and Marita Napier. He sang with Capab Opera for 3 years taking part in productions of “Albert Herring” and “Cosi fan Tutte”. He won the College of Music Opera prize in 1988 and 1989, the Friends of the Nico Malan Opera Prize in 1990, the Leonard Hall memorial Prize in 1991. He has performed professionally with accompanists such s ALbie van Schalkwyk, Tommy Rajna and Neil Solomon.

 

SHIRLEY SUTHERLAND  – Coloratura Soprano

Shirley Sutherland graduated from UCT with an Honours degree in Music  under Sarita Stern and Angelo Gobbato.  She has also completed a  National Higher Diploma in Opera (Cum Laude) at the Pretoria Technikon  Opera School under the tutelage of Eric Muller.

Her ability to sing such a varied repertoire of music being Opera,  Operetta, Broadway, Classical contemporary, light classical has found  her performing to diverse audiences locally and abroad.

Her many operatic roles include that of Tytania in Britten’s A  Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Hanna in Lehar’s  The Merry Widow, Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Micaela and  Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone  Madame Mademoiselle Warblewell in Mozart’s The Impresario and as  well as Dvorak’s Rusalka which she performed in Sweden.  Her many  musical roles include that of Eliza from My Fair Lady, Magnolia from  Showboat which was performed in Germany, Julie in The Carousel,  Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Meg in Brigadoon and Roxie in  Chicago for which she received the Cape Times Award for the best  leading lady in a musical. She has sung Gabriel in Haydn’s Oratorio  The Creation and performed in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the  Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra.

She has been part of the Pretoria based Black Tie-Ensemble with Mimi  Coertse and part of Cape Town’s Opera Studio.

Shirley is in great demand as a soloist and also teaches part-time at  schools in the Cape area.
Albert Combrink (Piano)
Albert, currently a freelance pianist, completed his MMUS in Piano Performance from Natal University under Isabella Stengel, as well as three UNISA Licentiates: Piano Performance, Piano Accompaniment and Teaching (Cum Laude). He made his concerto debut with the NPO at 18. Since then he has performed regularly at major centres throughout the country, as soloist and accompanist, in both classical and popular music fields. He was finalist in the ATKV Music Competition and winner of the Young Natal Chamber Competition and UND Performer’s and Composer’s competitions after which he was commissioned to write to the first Afrikaans Catholic Mass. He has extensive recording experience, including Hindemith’s Piano Concerto “Four Temperaments” with the NPO and David Tidboald, through radio and television broadcasts (including BBC World) to the recent CPO recordings of works by Hofmeyr and Schnittke. He was repetiteur for the UCT Opera School as well as Cape Town Opera, performing also as orchestral pianist and harpsichordist in operatic productions. His operatic experience with CPO included “Showboat” and “Porgy and Bess” which toured Sweden and Germany. He has acted and recorded for the eTv show “Backstage” and “Stokvel” and been involved in various film projects. As member of the Cape Town Tango Ensemble he has performed at all the major festivals in the country, with performers such as Mark Hoeben and Ina Wichterich. His Tango CD featured in the film “Tango Club”. He has worked with directors such as Janice Honeyman, Jaco Bouwer and Marthinus Basson. He is vocal coach for Portabello, whose production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” won a London Critics’ “Olivier Award” in 2008, and has toured Ireland, Japan and Singapore. He has also been Music Director and Assistant MD for various productions including the New Space Theatre’s production of Sondheim’s “Assassins” which won two Fleur du Cap Awards. He is co-author of 3 Arts & Culture Textbooks which have sold over 150 000 copies.