Choral legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo will bring their South African sound to Sunderland – and you could be there for free.
The four-time Grammy Award-winning choir bring their show Inala to Sunderland Empire, for one night only.
Inala, meaning ‘abundance of goodwill’ in Zulu, promises to deliver a spiritually uplifting live experience, powered by a cultural explosion of music, song and dance.
Featuring world-class current and former dancers from The Royal Ballet and Rambert, the show fuses South African with Western cultures.
The original score is composed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala and British composer Ella Spira and blends the intricate rhythms and harmonies of Zulu native musical roots with live percussion, piano and strings.
Pietra Mello-Pittman, co-creator of Inala, said: “The audience can expect to see an amazing musical show with incredible dancing and singing and beautiful costumes. They will be taken on a journey, feel very moved and leave on a real high and wanting more.
“Inala is influenced by Zulu dancing and South African stories and cultures, creating a new language of dance that respects the traditions of ‘pure’ classical dance training of all our dancers.”
Ladysmith Black Mambazo were brought to international acclaim through their collaboration with Paul Simon on his 1986 album, Graceland. They went on to win four Grammy Awards, including their latest in January 2014 for Best World Music Album.
Pietra added: “We are so excited to bring Inala on a UK tour. Last year we sold out, at one nighters in nine first class concert halls around the UK which was wonderful and this year our tour takes us to first class theatres and visiting more theatres across the UK will be fantastic.”
“The songs in are sung in Zulu and they tell stories of South African culture with themes that everyone can relate to, like friendship, romance, love, jealousy, work and even marriage and divorce. We see fragments of a community life, the ups and the downs and we come out at the end rejoicing.”
Speaking about the inspiration for the show Pietra, said: “My friend and business partner, the composer Ella Spira, took me to see a Ladysmith Black Mambazo Concert in 2009 and we were both so inspired to create a visual spectacle with them. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, represent a culture that we here in the UK aren’t perhaps so familiar with and we wanted to show that culture off in a new way.”
•Inala is at Sunderland Empire on August 2. Tickets are available from 0844 871 3022 and www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.
To win a pair of tickets to the show, answer this question: where do Ladysmith Black Mambazo hail from? Email your answer and contact details to Katy.Wheeler@jpress.co.uk.
Closing date for the competition is June 18.