“There’s no need to liven up a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. It’s lively enough already,” observed my wife as we listened to a particularly energetic arrangement of the Russian composer’s work during RMB Starlight Classics at Vergelegen this past Saturday evening. “It’s a bit like coffee Pinotage. Why bury all that wonderful fruit under oak?” I replied.
Jolly renditions of the classics, obvious flavours on wine. Idealists will argue that high culture is being dumbed down while pragmatists will counter that it’s about giving some popular appeal to what are traditionally elitist pursuits and in so doing, ensuring that they are commercially viable.
Saturday’s special guest star was Welsh mezzo-Soprano Katherine Jenkins, and if I’m ever going to be converted into an opera fan, she just might be the means which this achieved. Of some musical ability as well as being easy on the eye and having a coyly flirtatious manner between numbers, she made my Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc 2010 slip down all too easily. However, local performer and SA’s Got Talent judge Ian von Memerty’s rather too earnest performance of The Winner Takes It All by Abba had me drinking for all the wrong reasons.