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Posted on: Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Move Over KKNK, the Klein Karoo Klassique is This Weekend!

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Klein Karoo Klassique

Klein Karoo Klassique

I know, it does get a little confusing – all these Kunstefeeses (can one even say that in Afrikaans?) but the Klassique is worth pencilling into your diary, particularly as it’s over this coming long weekend 9 – 12 August.

It might be a smaller festival than Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) but it packs a punch all its own, even if it fails to get quite the plethora of advertising its fellow arts’ festival enjoys. But it’s still young – only in its fourth year.

As one can only say in Afrikaans, this year’s Klein Karoo Klassique, as its name suggests, is a ‘fees van klassieke musiek, kuns, streekskos en wyn’ (a feast of classical music, art, local food and wine).

And if the weather continues to hold (and it certainly looks as though the weekend will be freezing), you can look forward to snow on the Swartberg mountains that form a backdrop to the Karoo town.

Klein Karoo Klassique

Klein Karoo Klassique

Oudtshoorn lies in a rather idyllic setting between two passes – the Outeniqua and the Swartberg. If you can, drive both of them at this time of year – the scenery, the light and the snow combine to paint a fairly incredible picture.

Oudtshoorn is the largest town in the Little Karoo and during the KKNK and KKK the town comes alive. If you consider that it boasts the most sunny days in any given year of any town in the entire country, it’s probably one of the best spots to head if the Western Cape is wet.

Oudtshoorn’s wide roads and historical buildings are attributable to two ostrich booms, the second of which, just after the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899, resulted in the building of what is referred to as ‘feather palaces’ – beautiful large period homes that today function mostly as guest houses.

Klein Karoo Klassique

Klein Karoo Klassique

I’m lucky. This is the second year that I get to sing in the Klassique. The choir in which I sing teams up with the KFO (Kaapse Filharmoniese Orkes) also known in English as the CPO (but not on this occasion) and the Festival Choir to add to the line-up. This year we’re singing Vivaldi’s Gloria. Last year was Mozart’s Requiem.

We bundle onto a bus early on the Saturday, head out for Oudtshoorn over the at least two incredible mountain passes en route (when you’re on a bus they’re that much more beautiful somehow) with a brief lunch stop in Montagu.

We reach Oudtshoorn in the late afternoon, rehearse, do a team dinner somewhere, sleep over, rehearse, perform and then head back on the bus – all within 36 hours. One night in Oudtshoorn – both rewarding and exhausting.

The programme’s highlights include:

  • Sulayman Charlton Human in concert
  • Goldberg Chamber Players – Zanta Hofmeyr, Daline Wilson, Morkel Combrink, Wess Beukes, Phillip Coetzee and Malcolm Nay
  • Theunis Minnie art exhibition – My Father’s Chair
  • KFO – Gala concert and ATKV Muziqanto final
  • Two pianists – Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães
  • Due Cellisti – Polina Burdukova, Carel Henn and Kerryn Wisniewski
  • Hartstog! With Zanne Stapelberg, Minette Du Toit-Pearce, Suzanne Martens, Eddie Maclain and Philippus Hugo
  • Baroque meets African
  • Vivaldi Gloria

See you there!

When: 9-12 August 2012
Where: Various venues around Oudtshoorn
Book: at Computicket

Useful Oudtshoorn Links:
Oudtshoorn Attractions
Things to Do in Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn – Book Hotels
South Africa Book Accommodation

Wanda Coustas


Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.

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