HONESTLY, you felt like enjoying a classical show at the Sydney Opera House, or any other top class opera houses of the world, and for free. Anywhere round the globe, musicians and music lovers, await months, for such an enjoyment. But the German Consul General Rainer Schmiedchen and his pretty wife, Annette brought it home for his guests for the love of their country and for the affection and liking they have for Karachiites.
Well, being expensive or costly will be secondary considerations, because for richer classes, globe-trotting for business or vacationing, can easily afford it. But the tremendous pleasure which the invitees to the show arranged by the Schmiedchens were overwhelmed with the Sunday evening much more important, and that’s what counts.
The presentations by two pretty, young girls—Philomena Poetis, and Mai-Anh Nguyen, flown from Germany to be part of the German Weeks, being celebrated since Oct 3, by the Schmiedchens in league with the Goethe Institute Director Stefan Winkler, ought to be appreciated.
That the guests loved it to their heart’s content was vivid from the prolonged standing ovation the visitors received during and after the show. They were just superb, excelling in their performances which enthralled the audience. The duo is a living proof that music can and does bring people of diverse cultures.
Philomena with a Hanseatic mother, and father raised in Cyprus, and Mai-Anh, whose ancestors were from Vietnam, were delightful—Mai-Anh on Piano, and Philomena rendering classic beats from such Italian greats, like Mozart, Monteverdi, Giacomo Puccini, injected new blood in the veins of the Pakistanis, and German guests, as well as in the hearts of the two Russian Diplomats, Oleg Avedeev and Andre Federov Opera houses, theatres, including New York’s Broadway, where even today classical plays are staged, or the world-renowned Bolshevik Theatre in Moscow, are still the most adorable places despite the noise and thunder of the pop shows in discos, night clubs etc.
That’s exactly what the pretty girls did at the German consulate. While Mai-Ahn moved her fingers in versatile fashion on the Piano, Philomena rendered in soft and lilting voice, some of the greatest songs for eminent writers who were legends in their life time, and have become immortal because of their imaginative creations. It was said in a background material circulated during the show that Philomena’s passion for music, singing, and opera began as a member of the children’s choir for the Bavarian State Opera at the age of eight. Being on stage with phenomenal artistes such Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo inspired her to be at the Bavarian Singing Academy and receiving several music awards and honours in Germany and abroad.
Private studies with Barbara Bonney and Fara Parader in Salzburg, Austria, enabled her to polish herself. She travelled for her shows to Singapore, Lose Angeles, Paris, London, Florence, Miami, Bogota, to name a few.
Mai-Anh started playing piano at the age of five, and is now actively engaged in music projects being part of several operas world over. Working as duo, brought them to compete in German competition Jugend musiziert, and then there was no looking back.
Anh and Philomena were like fairies descending down the heaven. They were such a class that they looked like from the outer world. Although the concluding remark that that it was a great performance, and something for which Rainer and wife Annette deserve all the compliments, could be praiseworthy, but would not reflect truly the laborious work they put in organizing the show. They did much more than what we could be described here. Well done Rainer and well done Annette.