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Die Waarheid oor Duiwe (The Truth About Doves)

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Event description

A musical performance for voice, piano and flute featuring 13 poems – nine of which were set to music by Karien Sinclair – from Gisela Ullyatt’s first and only published poetry collection. Gisela was an Afrikaans poet and linguist from South Africa who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2020. She was only 43. Just months before her death, she published this debut collection of poems, for which she was one of three national finalists shortlisted for the prestigious Ingrid Jonker prize.

Gisela’s poetry is hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity, often dealing with themes of loss, alienation and the frailty of human existence in a tongue-in-cheek way. The music complements these themes with a variety of styles - from soaring, emotional melodies to a more humorous and upbeat approach.

Die Waarheid oor Duiwe is presented as an intimate theatrical show with English subtitles, featuring the singing voice of Marli van der Bijl (soprano), accompanied on piano by Karien Sinclair with Andrea Li on flute. The moving melodies transcend language barriers and are equally enjoyable for Afrikaans and non-Afrikaans speakers alike, and English audiences may find the odd recognisable tune here and there. Musical numbers are interspersed with the recital of four more of Gisela’s poems, as well as a spoken piece written as a tribute to the late poet.

Presented as part of the 2023 Warrnambool Storytelling Festival

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