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Baritone hits all the right notes

The singer is looking forward to his first solo recital.

Brakpan opera singer Andries Aldrich is set to perform his first solo recital, Many Faces of a Baritone, on May 4 at the Rand Club in Johannesburg.

Andries, who is a full-time bookkeeper at an aviation company in Germiston, describes his journey as a performer as incredible.

“Little did I know when I did my first little concert here in Brakpan at a church in 2017 that I would be where I am today,” he said.

“I am immensely blessed to have worked with absolutely amazing people and to have performed at interesting places over the past few years.”

He told the Brakpan Herald he is excited and nervous about the upcoming solo performance.

“I have been performing for a few years now and to me, where I am now as an artist, I feel I’m ready to do my solo recital,” he said.

“Being a classical singer requires immense dedication, vocal fitness and hours and hours of practice to be at a point where you are vocally fit enough to perform an entire programme by yourself, to have a repertoire that
is big enough and, most importantly, exciting enough to do a whole concert.

“For that 70 minutes it is just going to be you and your audience and you as an artist should be able to keep them captivated for that time.

“I am very lucky in the sense that with my passion for opera, I learn new repertoire constantly and therefore I do have quite a big repertoire.”

Harald Sitta of the opera company SittOpera (co-organiser of this event) will be the MC of the concert and Paddy Jeffrey will be accompanying the entire programme on piano.

Andries explained he will be taking the audience on a journey through the various genres of classical singing and will start with art songs.

“They sound quite easy but believe you me, they are very tricky to sing. I will sing German, Italian and Afrikaans art songs,” he said.

“From there I go to the baroque era and perform a baroque work or two. Thereafter we go to my absolute favourite, the great opera.”

Andries has invited soprano Sonica Rickinson to perform one of the biggest duets in the opera repertoire with him, namely the father and daughter duet from Verdi’s Rigoletto.

“After the great opera, we will then move over to the lighter side of life with some of the more catchy pieces from the German operettas and hits from Broadway,” said Andries.

Singing is not his only talent and Andries is also a classically trained pianist. He offers classical piano lessons in Brakpan after hours on weekdays.

“Teaching is a true passion for me. It is immensely fulfilling when you see your pupils excel in the art you are teaching them and see what absolute joy it can bring to them,” he said.

“If I could, I would teach piano full-time, not just because of my love of teaching but also my love for the instrument itself.

“To me there is no instrument more beautiful than a piano. You can be a whole orchestra by yourself on a piano if it is played correctly.”

Andries has many other interests and hobbies.

“I absolutely adore fine china and collecting fine china tea sets and figurines is one of my biggest hobbies, as well as antique furniture and restoring them,” he said.

“I am not the biggest DIY person in the world, however, restoring antiques to their former glory is a true passion I have.

“I love cooking and baking for my friends and family. They always joke when they come to visit me and say I’ll make them all gain weight with the baking and cooking I have them taste.”

Sheet music is another passion.

“I am very proud to say that I have a ‘little’ music library. In today’s age where everything is digital, I still prefer to have my music scores in hard copies,” he said.

“Some of my music colleagues call me the Google of the music world. When they need certain music they know where to come look and to borrow a book.

“Lastly, a huge interest of mine is old architecture. I can look at old buildings for hours and admire them and just absorb the beauty of them. In Brakpan we are very blessed with some of the beautiful buildings we have like
our town hall, and some of the churches here are truly magnificent.”

The concert starts at 15:00 and the dress code is cocktail/semi-formal.

The Rand Club is located at 33 Loveday Street in Marshalltown.

Tickets can be booked at www.quicket.co.za

Also read: Opera is for everyone

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