Durban music picks: March 23 2012

South Africa’s longest-running music festival has evolved from ­featuring a motley crew of minstrels in 1990 to one of the country’s slickest, most sophisticated and certainly most atmospheric rock festivals.

At Splashy Fen over the Easter weekend, the pastoral splendour of KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensberg hosts the finest live music the country has to offer. Patrons will be able to alternate between bucolic bliss and wild abandon with the likes of the Van Coke Kartel, Zebra & Giraffe, the Graeme Watkins Project, Arno Carstens and Albert Frost, Shadowclub, Gangs of Ballet, Lark, the La Els, City Bowl Mizers, Dan Patlansky, Madala Kunene, the Rudimentals, the Black Hotels and many, many more.

Splashy Fen, Underberg, April 5 to 9. Tickets are R500 from Computicket and include camping for the festival period. Tel: 031 563 0824. Website:

■ A bevy of South Africa’s ­contemporary classical music stars team up this weekend when they pool their talents for a concert to raise funds for Fotag (Friends of Tatham Art ­Gallery). The United States-based South African soprano sensation Bronwen Forbay is joined by Steinway pianist ­Christopher Duigan and renowned baritone Federico Freschi in a performance of popular opera arias, duets and songs.

Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, on March 24 at 7:30pm. Tickets are R120 in advance from Parklane Superspar. Email:

■ Durban’s Baroque 2000 remains faithful to that swirling genre and its passionate fervour for all things grand and ornate. The ensemble’s 2012 season begins this weekend with the extraordinary one-act opera Le Devin de Village (The Village ­Fortune-teller), written by French political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The production celebrates the 300th anniversary of ­Rousseau and features soloists Lauren Dasappa (soprano), Warren Vernon-Driscoll (tenor) and Azola Mabutho (bass-baritone.)

Church of the Monastery, ­Mariannhill, March 25, at 3pm. Tickets cost R90 at the door. ­Subscriptions for the eight-concert season are also available. Tel: 082 303 5241.

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