Stand-in Bay soprano hits the right note

Hendrick Mphande

A YOUNG soprano saved the day yesterday when she was called upon at the last minute to stand in for renowned soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi.

Mkhwanazi was meant to perform at the Opera and Choral Gala Concert featuring the Eastern Cape Children’s Choir and NMMU singers at the Feather Market Centre, but was unable to do so because of a throat infection.

With hours to spare, the organisers roped in young singer Liske Potgieter, 23, to sing Vilja Lied from The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar.

The bubbly Potgieter said she was shocked, nervous but excited at the same time, when a call came through inviting her to perform yesterday.

She had been asleep as she was tired from rehearsals for an upcoming show when she got the call at 11am to get ready to perform four hours later.

“I enjoy performing. I have performed at the Feather Market Centre before, but I have never done so with an orchestra. Hopefully, I did well and filled the shoes because I got a standing ovation,” Potgieter said.

Lionel van Zyl, senior lecturer in voice at NMMU, said he received a call from the concert organisers saying they needed a singer to replace Mkhwanazi.

“Liske is one of my students. She met with a conductor for approximately 15 minutes and then walked on to the stage. She did extremely well. She did all the stuff that was required,” he said.

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