Damiete Braide, Lagos
The Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) is set for its yearly Festival of Arts with the theme: ‘Celebrating Excellence in the Arts’, beginning from Wednesday, October 16 to Sunday October 27 at Onikan in Lagos.
Unfolding the forthcoming event at an interactive session with reporters, MUSON Vice Chairman Louis Mbanefo, going down memory lane, said the first festival was held between February 21 and March 1, 1997, and that it coincided with the 80th birthday celebration of its first chairman, the Late Chief Ayo Rosiji.
According to him, the 23rd edition will hold a couple of months after the 100th birthday of its current chairman, Akintola Williams.
“The festivals have pointed the way to the path that MUSON is destined to follow, namely, to become a centre for all arts at the highest level and the premier venue for the arts in West Africa,” he noted.
Chairman of the 2019 Festival Planning Committee, Mr Kitoyi Ibare-Akinsan, reeled out the programmes of activities as follows; on Wednesday, October 17, Youth Concert/Musiquest, the grand finale of the Youth Music Competition begins, adding ”there will also be Music Meets Arts, an exhibition in partnership with Society of Nigerian Artists.”
“Our Festival Personality Programme, My kind of Music will hold on Thursday, October 17. The next day is Danjuma Festival Opera, to be performed by Opera – Don Pasquale while on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, is the Chevron Festival Drama titled Wats’s Dis All About, a play was written and directed by Toyin Oshinaike.
“The play is a Nigerian version of Woza Albert, a South African play created by Mbongeni Ngema, Percy Mtwa and Barney Simon under the siege of apartheid and became one of the most outstanding successes in the anti-apartheid crusade. Its adaptation to the Nigerian socio-political situation is a satirical commentary based on the hilarious idea of the coming of a Messiah to Nigeria and the bizarre expectations of the common man for a better life. The play is a fast-paced comedy, with each actor playing multiple distinct characters, morphing from one skit to another as the story unfolds in a synergy of style and artistic stamina.”
Ibare-Akinsan said this year’s Alumni Concert with the title ‘Igbeyawo: The musical’ will take place on Monday, October 21, while the Rebecca Festival Master Class holds on Wednesday, October 23.
He explained that ‘the “International Cultural Night’ which will feature performances from local and international dance troupes from Nigeria, China, Azerbajan, Brazil and Columbia holds on Wednesday, October 23. While the Rebecca Omordia and MUSON Artistes sponsored by Fourchiefs Media UK will take place on Thursday, October 24.
The MUSON day, a celebration of MUSON’s anniversary, concert and cocktail are scheduled for Friday, October 25 while the Festival Jazz party holds the following day.
Ibare-Akinsan said the festival will close on Sunday, October 27, with the Total Festival Gala Concert featuring performances from Michael Vollhardt, Rebecca Omordia, MUSON Choir, and MUSON Symphony Orchestra.