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PRESS: Cape Town Opera at Groote Kerk in Cape Town, 26 February 2023

Allison Foat


The award-winning Cape Town Opera chorus presents SPIRITUALS at the Groote Kerk Kaapstad this Sunday 26 February at 3pm, under the baton of musical director and pianist Marvin Kernelle.

This diverse programme is back by popular demand after a successful performance at Maynardville recently.

Spirituals displays the chorus’ versatility, extending beyond operatic repertoire to spiritual song, including South African and African-American repertoire. The powerful arrangements of classic and lesser-known music, including “Baba Yetu” and “Give Me Jesus”, is bound to captivate audiences and bring the joy and profound emotional impact of spirituals to listeners.

In 2018 and 2019, the Cape Town Opera Chorus toured Europe with Grace Notes, a programme of religious and sacred music, that performed to sold-out houses in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Cape Town. Inspired by that programme’s enormous popularity, CTO Chorus Master Marvin Kernelle compiled this showcase of uplifting African and African-American spirituals.

Affording an opportunity to reflect on the current global crisis, it is an evening of soul-stirring music that celebrates the spirit of caring, resilience and joy that has buoyed humanity during a difficult year. ‘We wish this concert to be a reminder of the vital role music plays in healing our world,’ says Chorus Master Kernelle of the programme, which includes traditional songs such as ‘Muhona Makutu Tanga’ and ‘Mahlo A Bona’ and rich arrangements of "Elijah Rock’, ‘Ev’ry Time I Feel The Spirit’ and ‘Didn’t My Lawd Deliver Daniel?’ The chorus master reflects that the music, which forms a precious and rich part of African and American history, brings hope and reminds us of the pivotal role music plays in healing our world.

Tickets cost from R120pp through Quicket. More information at

Coming up in April 2023: Don’t miss Cape Town Opera in Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Toringkerk in Paarl on Saturday 8 April 2023

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