Wednesday, February 24, 2010

J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932) Composed Music of 'Princess Magogo' for Opera Africa

[J.S. Mzilikazi Khumalo]

James Stephen Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932) is a South African composer, arranger and choral director, and a Professor Emeritus of African Languages. He is profiled at Prof. Khumalo has been a prominent figure in South African Music for decades. The following are excerpts from the website of the opera Princess Magogo, for which Prof. Khumalo composed the music:

“The significance of Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu as a composer, musician and authority on Zulu music is a powerful topic for an opera. The world premiere of Princess Magogo by Mzilikazi Khumalo in Durban’s Playhouse Theatre in 2002 attracted international attention and was broadcast live to the USA, UK and Europe by WFMT Radio and Networks, Chicago.”

“The opera Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, which had its world premiere in 2002 in Durban, tells the true story of Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu daughter of king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo. The princess was a revered singer, composer and historian who has for many years been recognized as the greatest living authority on Zulu music. Her vast repertoire of traditional Zulu songs extends back as far as the 18th century, her fame extends beyond kwaZulu Natal, and transcends cultural borders.”

“The opera, against a turbulent historical background, captures and is a celebration of the life and music making traditions of the indigenous people of KZN. Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu was commissioned and first produced by Opera Africa. It is the first opera to be written and performed in Zulu, emanating from a South African artistic team, and performed by African singers and dancers. The artistic team comprise Themba Msimang (librettist), Mzilikazi Khumalo (composer) and Michael Hankinson (orchestrator).”

No comments: