Dust off that tux, but make sure you have tickets first. The Coast Recital Society's gala concert Jan. 30 is evening dress preferred, but not essential. There were only 33 tickets left as of Jan. 14. Starting promptly at 7:30 p.m., this will be an occasion to remember. Bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu and piano partner Malcolm Martineau are the performers in an eclectic evening of Leider and Art Song. Selections will be sung in German (Schubert and Schumann), French (Poulence) and English (Butterworth and Quilter).
With a penchant for dramatic entrances, Lemalu was born with a hole in the heart. His Samoan family in New Zealand named him Jonathan meaning Gift of God. He got better, and the family aptly added Fa'afetai, Samoan for thank you. His career has been increasingly dramatic ever since.
He graduated from a school performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in New Zealand to London's Royal Opera, Covent Garden about 20 years later. Lemalu has a crowded calendar of engagements. In April 2005, he starts rehearsals for six performances as Leperello in Mozart's Don Giovanni at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Not bad for a rising young star in his 28th year.
Edinburgh-born Martineau is Lemalu's illustrious accompanist. He is one of the world's most eagerly sought after collaborative pianists. A renowned lieder specialist, this sterling artist has worked with such luminaries as Dame Janet Baker, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Thomas Allen and Canada's own Michael Schade. He is the piano partner of choice for the great Welsh bass-baritone, Bryn Terfel.
Phone the Coast Recital Society office at 604-885-0991 for any of the remaining tickets. For further information, drop into Suite 209 in the Royal Bank building in Sechelt Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 2 p.m., or visit www.coastrecitalsociety.ca.