Very fine article that deals with some old stereotypes by Billie Odidi about ‘the Paverotti of Africa’ in Uganda’s newspaper the Daily Monitor;
‘Classical music is often regarded as stuffy, quaint or elitist European music, which is boring and of no relevance to the rhythm driven African tastes. Cameroonian born baritone Jacques–Greg Belobo, has been at the vanguard of trying to change attitudes towards all forms of classical music in Africa.
White people’s music?
“This music is seen as white people’s music and non African. I want to show that there are no limits in the arts,” says the man known as Africa’s Pavarotti, after the late, great Italian tenor. “I have been training musicians who have five or seven years of opera singing in Europe, but the talent I find in Africa is exceptional,” he says. “All the talent needs is just lots of technical practice.”
Footballers and opera singers
He loves to use the analogy of the dominance of African footballers in the top leagues in the world when talking about classical music.
“Just like Africans have proved to be the best footballers in the world, so too we can be the finest opera singers,” he says.