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When the masters came alive at AMEMUSO’s 10th anniversary

The Abuja Metropolitan Music Society popular called AMEMUSO celebrated a decade of opera and creative performance at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, last Sunday.

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The event featured performances by the junior arm of the choir, the Amemusito, duets by Lilian Ezenwa & Michael Amadi, Agatha Ibeazor & Maria Cecilia Toledo as well as solo performances by Joseph Oparamanuike and the star of the night, Omo Bello.

The evening opened with an all time favourite  Shine Ubangegi following a performance, That love Song by the Amemusitos. The smiles on their faces, the nimbleness of their feet as they danced and sang, were an indication that it was an apt entrée reflecting their gratitude for how far they have come standing together through thick and thin, and growing from strength to strength.

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A total of 26 presentations for the night were chosen from AMEMUSO’s performances in its ten years of existence and included two new pieces Mein Herr Marquis, Die Fledermaus (Strauss) and All I want is more champagne, Die Fledermaus (Strauss). 

The renditions were a superb combination of drama, harmony, melody, and counterpoint, reflective of the style of the masters who created them.  They included Papageno-Papageno, Magic Flute (Mozart), Cat Duet (Rossini), Habanera, Carmen (Bizet) and Je veux vivre, Romeo and Juliet (Gounod) among others. 

With lyrics, rhythm, rhyme, action and passion each of the artistes delivered their lines to the delight of the yearning audience who reciprocated with several applauses and sing along. The guests revealed their years when they almost took over the rendition of My favourite things and Do-Re-Mi as the choir performed the Sound of Music soundtracks. It was nostalgic; it was beautiful and in a way ushered in the Yuletide for many like Peace Emezue who couldn’t hide her excitement. 

She said, “I have seen a good number of AMEMUSO’s performances and each year, I am delighted. Even though I cannot pick my favourite of all the ones I have attended, I must say that this 10th year celebration was as refreshing and perfectly timed to begin my Christmas celebrations as the others have been.”

For many guests the climax was watching the performance by soprano, Omo Bello, who was was nominated in 2014 for the ‘Victoires de la musique classique’ awards in the ‘Lyrical Revelation of the Year’ category (the ‘French Grammy’s’).

A visibly enchanted Andrew Bankole said, “I haven’t watched her perform in maybe three years or so and then I saw her perform this year at an event I think the French President also attended. Oh, I was so proud and knew I wasn’t going to miss this for anything in the world. Omo has soul. She sings a Giacomo Pucinni, like the man opened out his heart to her when he was composing it. I didn’t need more than this for Christmas.”

Speaking at the event which has been supported by the hotel, its Public Relations Manager, Shola Adeyemo said, “Operabuja represents for us a celebration of artistic talents of Nigerians. It is also significant for its power to bring different cultures under one roof. The international understanding it fosters cannot be overemphasised. We are therefore, delighted that the concert has lived up to the expectations of the public for ten consecutive years.”overemphasised. We are therefore, delighted that the concert has lived up to the expectations of the public for ten consecutive years.”

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