Things to do

Star struck audience

At the Copenhagen Opera Festival, festival director Peter Lodahl’s row of concerts under the name Star Recital, where new young international opera stars are invited to Denmark, South African Levy Sekgapane was certainly an outstanding choice – completely captivating his audience.

By Bente D. Knudsen Pictures: Copenhagen Opera Festival/ Mathias L. Bojesen

On the last July evening, as the summer finally showed some warmth and sun, a young, warm, and clear voice mesmerised the audience.

With his already incredibly strong and passionate voice, easy charm and effortless manner, South African Levy Sekgapane is not only already a great young talent, but certainly already the star of the evening.

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Børssalen is the main hall of the beautiful old stock-exchange located right next to Christiansborg, which was built in the 17th century by Denmark’s most famous King Christian IV – known as the dynamic and talented builder King. Outside its windows the sun slowly sets, sending in a few rays of sunlight.

As Levy Sekgapane stands on stage under the statue of the imposing King, a certain likeness can be detected in pride of pose and elegant stature, he holds his audience captive in an intense moment of piano and song.

The Danish chamber specialist, pianist Leif Greibe, plays delightfully, accompanying Levy to perfection, as had they done the same performance many times – instead of just this once.

The hall is full of opera lovers of all ages – still somewhat a surplus of grey hair – but surely, a young talented charmer such as Levy Sekgapane will change that in the years to come?

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Only 26 years old, Levy Sekgapane has already been captured by the Semper Opera in Dresden and he performs in Copenhagen just after winning the prestigious Placido Domingo Operalia Competition 2017.

Dressed in an impeccable suit, with an informal open white shirt, from the stage the young talent presents his selection of songs for the evening, all smiles and convincing charm.

“I speak English, German, and Italian and although only some French, I have selected songs from all four languages, as I did so want to sing for you also some of Fauré’s lovely songs – songs which speak of love, nature and passion,” he says from the stage, introducing the evening.

And then he starts singing, in such a seemingly effortless and charming way, that as the evening ends, the audience will not let him go – and he finally takes his leave, quite obviously touched by the standing ovation of an entire audience.

You can experience Levy Sekgapane again on Sunday 6th August at the Highlights Concert where festival director Peter Lodahl presents the best and brightest moments from the past week.

The Highlights Concert takes place in a stunning outdoor setting right next to the Copenhagen Harbour at the Ophelia Stage (next to Skuespilhuset).

You can either get one of the last tickets – or as it is open-air concert, simply sit along the quay outside of the paying area to enjoy the evening.

So far, it would seem that the weather gods are with Copenhagen Opera festival as the evening is predicted without too much rain.

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Other Star Recital performances – check out on the 3 August at 20:00, also in the old stock exchange, the performance of another young opera talent Elsa Dreisig.

She is half Danish and half French, and has been studying at the opera school in Lyon. In 2016, she was the winner of the Operalia competition.

The concert was sold out – but a few extra rows have been added to the hall. More information and tickets here. An evening you will surely not regret.