Part of VoicelabFriday 20 July 2012
The Spanish master of flamenco guitar Paco Peña returns to Royal Festival Hall with a radical new interpretation of his classic flamenco mass Misa Flamenca, still widely considered as one of his greatest works. The original work saw Peña unite the Catholic perception of the religious Mass with the flamenco musical tradition.
In this special adaptation for Africa Utopia, he collaborates with South African composer Neo Muyanga, drawing on the deep emotional content of the African soul, the passion of Spain and the timeless beauty of a classical choir to create an unforgettable concert experience.
Joining Paco Peña, his flamenco ensemble and dancer in this performance are two layers of voices - an octet combining South African and up-and-coming UK singers, and one of the country's leading chamber choirs and former BBC Choir of the Year, Chantage, in a special collaboration with Southbank Centre's Voicelab. Conducted by James Davey.
'Mr Peña is a virtuoso, capable of dazzling an audience beyond the frets of mortal man. He combines rapid-fire flourishes with a colourist's sense of shading; this listener cannot recall hearing any guitarist with more assured mastery of his instrument.' The New York Times
'The Misa is that rarest of things, a totally successful fusion of disparate forms.' Boston Globe