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Victoria Oruwari’s evening of epiphany

By Japhet Alakam
It was another scintillating and stimulating evening last week for the numerous visitors, classic music lovers and members of the Musical Society of Nigeria ,MUSON family as Rivers state born and London based ,Victoria Ekenta Oruwari accompanied by Tunde Sosan thrilled them in Suprano concert at the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson centre Lagos in shows tagged “An Enchanting Evening with Victoria Oruwari.”

The event was described as her first performance in Nigeria and the first Muson concert of the year.  All through the 90 minutes the concert lasted, Victoria Oruwari was able to demonstrate that despite her physical impairment, that she is still a gifted and talented music performer .  Left alone to guess, fans at the venue of the show would not know that Victoria is physically blind judging from the way she performed while on stage, as she was able to demonstrate that physical impediment has no power in frustrating her from achieving the excellent musical feat she has attained in her chosen career.

She has through her music attained heights which those without any visionary challenge could not. She has done this with her sweet sonorous and sensational voice, which has made it possible for her to perform for kings and queens.

Victoria who discovered singing at the age of eight whilst attending the Pacelli School for the blind and Partially Sighted  through her recitals last week showed classical music lovers samples of what her music is like. During the performance, She carefully selected lovely tunes from the classical genres and famous songs from the musical theatre stage.

It was such a wonderful combination as Victoria accompanied by Babatunde Sosan, the pianist gave the audience lovely songs from the classical genre and famous songs with rich and colourful melodies. It was a rousing performance as her voice went up and down backed by melodious tunes from pianist and at after some intervals, the audience could no longer hold their breath and excitement as they broke loose applauding the performance uproariously.

The evening which featured songs of love, nature, laughter, and delusion was divided into two sections. The first section featured songs like Tornami a Vagheggiar by George Frideric, De Vieni Won Tardar by Wolfgang Mozart, A  Black bird Singing by Micheal Head and Song to the Seals by Granville Bantocla. After that, Tunde performed a solo titled, La Cathedral Egloutie by Claude Debussy.

The duo also came back and jointly performed La Pasttorella by Gioachino Antonio Rossini and Comme Autrefois by George Bizet which ended the first interval.

At the resumption of the second part, Victoria in a solo recital backed by Tunde on the Saxophone took the audience to a contemporary jazz music titled, Summer time by George Gershwin. Victoria who was touched by the reception and the way she was welcomed in Nigeria also sang a love song that touched the audience titled ,Think of Me , which made  the fans applaud and shouted eeh..eeh.

She later performed other love songs like, Losing my Mind, Green Finch and Linnet Bird, You are not alone, I feel pretty and Much more, the audience celebrated the songs and asked for more. Bent on satisfying the audience, she also performed a special song in Yoruba language titled, Oluremi, a song, which the audience joined in  singing and clapping. It was a  wonderful rendition. At the end of the performance, a young girl presented a banquet of flower to Victoria to the admiration of the audience. It was indeed a wonderful night for the jazz lovers , who  watched the wonderful performance of blind Victoria.

At the end of the concert Victoria, who has performed as a soloist with the  school choir at venues such as the Birmingham Symphony Hall, Worcester Cathedral, Huntingdon Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall said that she wanted people to come to the classical concerts and have a feel of what she has in stock.

She expressed happiness with the way that people responded to her songs. According to her “It is my world, I feel mesmerized when I sing. It is like without music, there is no world for me. Music is the best thing that has happened to me. It uplifts me.”

She described herself as a lower Suprano who can play certain roles like mime. On the choice of Oluremi, the last song she sang, She explained that “ I want to be a classical crossover singer because a lot of time, people cannot relate to real classical music. It is either quite intimidating or they don’t understand it.It is my aim to bring classical music to a wider audience. Having trained in this genre, I can now apply that knowledge to already known songs and reproduce them in a classical style. My own is to integrate people more and to let everybody come to my concert and enjoy what I have.”

Victoria has won many awards including the Mark Plummer Award for Hard Work and Fortitude, The Fletcher Butcher Award for Distinguished Musicianship, the Elizabeth Eagle Bott Memorial Scholarship, The Newman Thomas Commonwealth Award for Outstanding Progress and the Eva Noreen Student Scholarship Award.

Commenting on the performance, Chief Femi Adeniyi Williams, Chairman of Muson said “I am so happy that a performance like this is the first concert of  this year, and as you have listened, she is brilliant. Like I always say, if you have a setback in one part of your life, you make it up in something else. I think she is very very talented, she is so focused.


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