As this piece is being written Lebo should be miles away en route to Hong Kong.
Showing neither signs of jet-leg nor fatigue, Lebo was a guest of honour at the historical opening of the ‘The Circle of Life’ at the Lion King Live in Concert at the Sun Arena on Tuesday evening.
Sharing the news exclusively with this reporter post the magical show, Lebo indicated he had no time to celebrate with his 80 or so-strong orchestra as he had to prepare for a flight to Hong Kong the next day.
“I will be conducting four live concerts in Hong Kong before heading off to Argentina. Both shows are sold outs and this means no time to rest or be with my family,” quipped Lebo glowingly, who also pointed out his next major project is Broadway Show that will come to fruition in 2022.
All races- young, old, tall and short came in hordes to first experience South Africa’s historical live music and movie premiere of ‘The Circle of Life’ at the Lion King live concert that feature signature brands such as Zazu, Simba, Timon, Scar, Pumbaa and the ever gratifying voice over of a profound and celebrated, genius James Earl Jones as (Mufasa), Beyoncé Knowles as (Nala) and own John Kani as (Rafiki).
For once patrons forgot about their miseries such as rainy weather, floods and the irritating load-shedding as they whistled, jostled and danced along to an astounding Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra – led by South African conductor – Eddie Clayton on stage, 84 renowned musicians made up of 50 string players, 11 woodwinds, 13 brass, 1 harp, 6 percussion, 1 guitarist, 1 electric bass and a keyboard.
This is the soundtrack that he composed with renowned Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer which won them a 1995 Grammy for best instrumental arrangement with accompanying vocals.
“This is very special to me and it should be to South Africans’ as this is the history in the making that a live orchestra complemented a movie in the form of award winning Lion King. Its surreal I must indicate,” said Lebo, who was accompanied by his partner Mel Ntsala, who did not indicate if she would be jetting along with his beau.
“I am very proud to be part of a journey that started over 25 years ago, with Disney’s The Lion King. I can’t wait for people to experience The Lion King Live in Concert with a full orchestra.”
This will be an extraordinary experience not to be missed, and I look forward to seeing you there. Imagine being transported into Simba’s playful world with all its adventure, love and loyalty, as well as the jealousy, threats and dangers of their wicked and wily foes through soaring orchestral sounds – I do not think there’s any better way to bring this magical experience to life than this!” Lebo was quoted.
Pauline, who is the manager for the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra says performing for this award winning movie that she has followed for more than 25 years’ was an honour.
Next major assignment is Broadway in 2022, chuckles Lebo enthusiastically.
“i-Christmas sisoyibona next year- si a masoja (we shall celebrate Xmas next year- for now we’re soldiers hitting the ground running)” remarked the Soweto born Lebohang Morake, cheekily.
Other shows at the Sun Arena are scheduled for 11th and 12th December respectively.
Tickets are on sale exclusively through Computicket with prices starting from R200 per person. Visit www.computicket.com
Image Sipho MALUKA (Punching the air with aplomb. Lebo M gave a resounding performance that was greeted by thousands of animated fans at the Sun Arena).