Classics at the Castle
Soprano Emma Farquharson and her accompanist Garreth Robertson will perform at the last Classics at the Castle for 2017 in December. Image: Provided

The award-winning show, Opera Found, the Classics at the Castle show which was cancelled in August due to the soprano’s ill-health, is coming to Port Alfred early in December.

Sue Gordon from Classics at the Castle recently announced that the concert will feature as the last event of 2017.


“We are glad to announce our exciting Sunday summer concert on December 3 at 15:00Opera Found – a show that won a Standard Bank Encore Ovation award at the NAF Grahamstown in July. The Port Alfred show scheduled for 20 August had to be postponed owing to the soprano’s ill-health – but now she’s in fine voice again and we’re raring to go!”

Soprano Emma Farquharson and her accompanist Garreth Robertson are the two talented young musicians who will be on stage for this 40th Classics at the Castle.

Emma’s love of and fascination with the human voice continues to drive her from stage to stage. Just 22 years old with accolades from her school in choral music, she now holds eight tertiary scholarships, four in recognition of her performance achievements; a partial bursary from SAMRO and a prize at this year’s Grahamstown Music Competition.

Opera Found, Emma’s solo debut in this year’s Arts Festival, comprises operatic and classical arias, German art songs, and operetta and Spanish folk songs. In her three years at Rhodes University Music Department, she has thoroughly enjoyed being the student of vocal coach-technician and international soprano, Miss Jo-Nette Le Kay.

An audience member at Emma’s NAF debut, on hearing that Emma’s show would be staged at Richmond House Music Room, said: “lucky people who get to hear a rising star just as she’s reaching out to grab the sparkle…opera’s next fire in the sky”

“The reason I named the show Opera Found, was because, as a little girl, I HATED Opera. …It was only through years of classical choral training (which I loved), and coming to RU and Miss Jo, that I began to appreciate opera, and then sing it. I just marvelled at how my voice began to change with all the weird exercises I was made to do, and by how I moved from being a lyric soprano to a soubrette, to a (now) coloratura in-the-making. Also, the Opera pieces in my programme are scattered, hence the notion of ‘finding’ opera.”

Garreth Robertson comes from East London and is a teacher at DSG and an Honours student and accompanist at Rhodes University Music Department.

Tickets at R80 are on sale now at KNA Port Alfred (out-of-towners please call 046 624 2036). The price includes a programme and welcome drink. Enquiries: 082 4567 437

Looking forward to seeing local music lovers at our last ‘Castle Classic’ for 2017. – Sue Gordon

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