Smike goes on boards

CIS remembers Charles Dickens

To commemorate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, the Prefects' Guild and senior students of the Colombo International School present "Smike: The Musical" on March 9 and 10. A pop musical based on Dickens' novel "Nicholas Nickleby", 'Smike' created by composer Simon May, in collaboration with Roger Holman and Clive Barnett in 1973 follows the trials, tribulations, and ultimately triumphs, of the eponymous hero, Smeeton/Mike ("Smike"), and his classmates as they travel back in time to the Victorian Era, and realize how fortunate they are to be living in the modern world.

As a result of their journey, the students-and-teachers- are transformed into more compassionate people with a broader outlook and approach to life. After its theatrical success, the BBC adapted it into a successful television production, and the musical soon became a mini classic, performed by thousands of schools and drama societies worldwide.

The CIS production of "Smike" is a completely student-led initiative, produced and organized by members of the CIS Prefects' Guild. The orchestra is made up entirely of students of the Musicians' Society, and the dance sequences are choreographed by a Year 13 student of CIS.

The extensive set extends beyond the auditorium itself and into the foyer, plunging the audience into an authentic Victorian atmosphere. This allows them to get a real feel and understanding of Dickens' world and appreciate this extraordinary musical and its timeless story even more.

"Smike" will be staged in the CIS auditorium and tickets will go on sale in late February, at the CIS reception desk.

Fusion of Middle Eastern music and Odissi dance

'Harmony', an exhilarating concert of dance and music featuring lead artiste Guy Manoukian, the award winning Lebanese Armenian musician and his Middle Eastern orchestra and Sharmila Gunasingham, accomplished exponent of classical Odissi dance, and Ramli Ibrahim, leading male Odissi expert, dancing together as Radha & Krishna will give local audiences something new and exciting.
Manoukian, known as the maestro of Arabic music, creates a unique sound with his talented orchestra, fusing together Arabic with Armenian, Kurdish Assyrian, Chaldean and Greek music.

This concert originally produced and premiered in Singapore will be performed in Colombo for one night only on February 28 at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre. Guy and his orchestra will be joined on stage by musicians and performers from Singapore, Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka. GR Visions Singapore is proud to present this cultural fusion.

Manoukian, musician, composer and producer has collaborated with international stars like Wyclef Jean, 50 Cent, and Raul DiBlasio from The Gypsy Kings.

At the prestigious Middle Eastern Beiteddine festival, which draws famous performers from across the world including the likes of Elton John, Ricky Martin and UB40, he performed to high acclaim and was accompanied by the internationally renowned Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra with guest performer Mario Reyes from the Gypsy Kings.

Guy has won multiple awards across the globe from Lebanon and Dubai to the USA. His albums, released by EMI, have topped the charts and won him fans across the world.

A Singapore corporate lawyer, Sharmila is an accomplished exponent of classical Indian dance.
Daughter of a distinguished Sri Lankan diplomat the late Mr. C Gunasingham, Sharmila, though coming from a Tamil community that traditionally performs the South Indian Bharata Natyam dance, has mastered Odissi Indian dance as well.

Sharmila has selected to essay roles as diverse as the goddess of love in an Indian classical dance version of Shakespeare's 'Midsummer Night's Dream' and the famous courtesan Ambapali in 'Enlightenment' a musical English dance drama based on the 6th Century BC Indian epic story portraying the life of the famous courtesan Ambapali during the Buddha's era.

For further information, please contact the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre Box Office at (9411) 266 9024.

Classical duo to take audience on journey of Austrian music

Violinist Lidia Baich and pianist Matthias Fletzberger will share the spotlight at a concert of classical music from Austria to be held at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on March 14 at 7 p.m.

Lidia Bach born in St. Petersburg had her first violin lessons at the age of four years from her grandfather and aged just eight, won her first international competition. After a string of other awards she won the Grand Prix d'Eurovision 1998 and the European Musician of the Year".

Since then Lidia Baich has appeared both as a soloist with orchestras as well as in recitals in all major concert halls in Europe and overseas. She has toured Japan, China, Russia, USA, Korea, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and England and played with leading orchestras in the world.

In 2002 Lorin Maazel invited the young violinist on a world tour by the side of star tenor Andrea Bocelli. The following year she participated in the 10-year anniversary "Pavarotti and Friends" concert in Modena. In 2006 she played in St. Petersburg, both with the Philharmonic and legendary hard rock band "Deep Purple" - with whom she performs regularly again showing her musical versatility.

Matthias Fletzberger was a child prodigy accepted as a student of the University of Music in Vienna aged 5. Aged 12 he won the first prize at the Austrian Youth Competition "Jugend musiziert". On the grounds of his outstanding piano skills, he was accepted to the concert class of Hans Graf in the same year, where he obtained his diploma with special distinction.

He has also worked regularly with outstanding artists, such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Renata Tebaldi, Issac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Maurice Gendron and Gérard Souzay.

Fletzberger won top prizes at international piano competitions, including the "Busoni" (Bolzano 1984 - Silver Medal), "Rubinstein" (Tel Aviv 1986 - Gold Medal), and "Bösendorfer" (Vienna 1988 - First Prize) competitions. His career has taken him to all continents: as recitalist, as soloist with major orchestras.
He has also enjoyed a second career as an opera conductor.

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