African spirits and culture create an electrifying Opening Ceremony of the World Choir Games
The Opening Ceremony of the anniversary event of the 10th World Choir Games 2018 came up right at the beginning with a superlative – the emotions boiled up like never before in an Opening Ceremony, the audience got carried away and thus created a frolic atmosphere in the fully packed Sun Arena.
The marching in of the 60 participating nations especially enthralled the audience and each country was welcomed with thundering applause. However, during the emotional speech of Tshwane’s mayor Solly Msimanga the arena went completely silent. He talked about the varied African culture, the cordiality, the hospitality and of course the country’s music: “We want you to hear what South African music is all about. “ No sound was to be heard from the 8000 visitors in the arena when he asked: „While you are here, listen carefully: Can you hear the heartbeat of Africa? Can you hear the drumbeat? You will hear the drumbeat of Africa. You will hear the rhythm that makes this continent a beautiful, moving, loving, caring, sharing continent country that we gladly call home. To all of you: I welcome you. “
Numerous African artists were greeted with standing ovations during the Opening Ceremony, amongst them the famous Ndebele artist Dr. Esther Mahlangu, who handed over a specially painted firebowl as the new symbol of the World Choir Games to Günter Titsch, President of INTERKULTUR. Titsch was likewise touched by the fascinating African show: „We are proud to celebrate the anniversary edition of the World Choir Games with a premiere on the African continent. The long cherished wish of choirs from all over the world to experience the birthplace of music, rhythm and dancing first hand has now come true. We feel honoured that so many South African choirs have participated in our events all over the world and now welcome the international singers in their home country with this grand opening ceremony.”
The audience visibly indulged in the African program which featured cultural characteristics of this continent, such as traditional dances and music performances, e.g. the official World Choir Games song of the Head of the Artistic Committee, Sibongile Khumalo, which she especially composed for this occasion: “Singomanqoba (We Are Conquerors)”.
The audience constantly applauded, cheered and trilled and these emotions erupted during the African song „Shosholoza“. The South African participants in the arena jumped to their feet and this excitement carried away the participants of the other nations. None was able to step back and so the Opening Ceremony embodied an exceptional and great anniversary prelude for the upcoming 10 days of the World Choir Games 2018.