South African Soprano to Raise Funds for Artists in Need with ‘African Christmas Fundraising Concert’

By Logan Martell

On Dec. 23, 2020, South African soprano Marieke de Koker will be hosting a live-streamed event on Facebook and YouTube, titled “African Christmas Fundraising concert.”

The concert will feature classic African Christmas songs, world premieres of new works and arrangements, and interview clips with artists.

The fundraiser will collect donations which classical singers in the country will be able to apply to for financial aid. As the ongoing pandemic continues to grip the performing arts industry with worldwide theater closures, live musicians in South Africa find themselves in dire straits. According to a nation-wide survey by the South African Cultural Observatory in November, as many as half the country’s artists are considering leaving the industry for good as they seek ways to make ends meet.

“South Africa continues to produce world class opera singers year after year, along with groundbreaking original African operas and African opera adaptations,” writes de Koker. “Our artists are leaving an irreplaceable mark on the global operatic and artistic community, and they deserve at the very least the support they need to afford basic living costs.”