The venerated Messiah by George Frederic Handel is set to enthral orchestra audiences with a line-up of talented artists. Messiah will be performed by the Free State Symphony Orchestra in the spirit of Easter on Saturday, 21 April, in Bloemfontein. Featured will be the talented soloists, Gretel Coetzee (soprano), Teresa de Wit (mezzo-soprano) Albertus Engelbrecht (tenor) and Paul Madibeng (bass). Alexander Fokkens will be the conductor. The show will take place at the Dutch Reformed Church in Universitas (Geloofsentrum) and will include the famous “Hallelujah” chorus. The Messiah oratorio was composed in 1741 by Handel. Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and no direct speech. Madibeng was born in Bloemfontein and started to sing in the church choir at the age of ten years.He soon became a national champion in the Eisteddfod school competition as the best bass soloist, and also of the Tirisano school competitions. Madibeng undertook voice training under William Theunissen at Musicon in 2002, and became a member of the Free State Opera thereafter. He was also a member of the Black Tie Ensemble at the State Theatre, and went to the UK for his master class in English National Opera.Coetzee learned piano and violin as a child, and eventually studied BMus at the University of the Free State. During this time, she became a member of the Performing Arts Council of the Free State (Pacofs) opera chorus and she regularly collaborates with the Namibian Chamber Ensemble. In the beginning of 2010 she made a recording of lullabies in German, Afrikaans, English and Zulu, titled “Thula Baba”. Coetzee is also a voice teacher and educator. Tickets are available at Computicket and cost R100 for adults and R50 for students. Visit www.fsso.org.za or call Ella Kotze on 051-401-2342 for more information.