Celebrating new beginnings
So why ‘new beginnings? Well, its spring!! And, not only nature, but the entire world is slowly unfurling its wings and returning to a new post-pandemic way of being. And the wonderful ripple effect of this tentative, new-found freedom, is that our musicians, artists, and places where we love to gather, are once again in operation.
Bosky Dell Pastorale
We were privileged to host two outstanding musical events during the annual Plett Arts Festival at Bosky Dell Farm. The first was held on the 3rd October in rather blustery conditions. Patrons were invited to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens and thankfully the breezy day did nothing to dampen their spirits or enjoyment of the world-class entertainment. In keeping with the rural nature of the setting,
Plettenberg Bay local, Mike Bhayabhile (baritone) and Lisa Engelbrecht (soprano-pianist) enthralled us with a selection of pastoral music.
For Mike, the return to the stage heralded the approach of a postponed, double scholarship, season at the esteemed Berlin Opera Academy in 2022 . Being awarded not one, but two, scholarships is testament to his incredible talent and the work he and his teachers/sponsors have put into his craft over the years.
Lisa’s youthful appearance belies an incredibly experienced and highly acclaimed, international vocal artist and pianist. Consummate performer, teacher and scholar, Lisa’s credentials read like a musical ‘who’s who’ and we cannot emphasise enough what a privilege it is to have established a relationship with her. She has previously entertained us as one of the ‘Opera Angels’ and she joined Mike in last year’s virtual Plett Arts festival.
The programme featured well-known arias, duets, ballads, and lieder – a much needed celebration of love, nature, and life. Wonderful performances from both artists ensured that the hour flew past and even the wind was hushed into silence. My personal favourite? Hard to choose, but I do have penchant for “les Misérables” and Mike gave an exquisite rendition of “Stars”….
Magdalena de Vries on Marimba
The following Sunday, the 10th, we welcomed Magdalena de Vries, the odd early rose and much milder weather. Three years ago, almost to the day, Magdalena performed in Plett for the celebration of World Palliative Care and Hospice Day and blew our socks off with her absolute mastery of her classically tuned marimba. Who could dream that it was possible to coax such sweet, melodic, and nuanced tones from a percussion instrument? We were in for yet another treat. My admiration for the artist and enjoyment of the instrument went up yet another level. The selection of music was ‘driven’ by audience reaction and culminated in an unrehearsed, but virtuoso performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever popular ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’. Magdalena also brought along a mystery “guest” – a charming Japanese music box and, when she opened it and its melody tinkled forth, I recalled how, like so many little girls, I had often listened to the marimba-like sounds of a music box while a ballerina twirled, or a canary sang – pure nostalgia!
Our grateful thanks to the musicians, Bosky Dell Farm, HumBee Flora and ecoSunergy Flowers for a beautiful afternoon.
And last, but most certainly not least, a very special thank you to Lady Conyngham without whom the Plett community would never get to experience the range of artistic endeavours she organises with such aplomb. Not only does the art lift our spirits, but the events give us a platform to engage with our donors and share the love and compassion that are the underpinning values of HospicePlett. Thank you, Annabelle!