Helena Hettema, ‘Rooiwynliefde’ and the French Legends at the Atterbury Theatre in the Spring

Helena Hettema PosterAward-winning cabaret artist, Helena Hettema  who recently returned from the“Festivalvoor het Afrikaans” in The Hague, Netherlands, is once more at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria in early spring on 6 September, performing songs from her latest and 11th CD, the popular “Rooiwynliefde” which has received acclaim countrywide.

She pays tribute to the “The Little Sparrow”, as Edith Piaf was known in her lifetime, (and who sang, as she lived with total abandon) with music that Helena has been interpreting since the beginning of her career, among others, two performances with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and also with her CD “Spirit of Piaf and other great French Legends”. The show also includes the music of Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour and Gilbert Becaud.

Helena will be accompanied on certain songs by the talented songwriter, pianist and singer, Eugene Vermaak who set  to music for the CD “Rooiwynliefde” the classic Afrikaans poem,  “DiepRivier” by Eugene Marais and will feature as a duet at the performance.

The show also includes original songs like: the title cut, “Rooiwynliefde” set to music by the late Christa Steyn and has lyrics celebrating eternal love, written by Marianne Venter. There are also two other famous Afrikaans poems that have been set to music – “In die Hoëveld” by Toon van den Heever, music by Philip Nel, and “Katrina” by I.D. du Plessis , music by Lizanne Barnard of Marimba fame, as well as a few of Helena’s own songs such as the lighthearted “Quasi, quasi, Blu” her first Italian/English song; the popular “Sonkring” theme song from the TV series, and a  first Afrikaans/French version and “Die trein het joukomhaal”, a metaphor of death where Helena accompanies herself on the piano; as well as the Karen Zoid/Bruno Andriessong, the catchy “Bonnie and Clyde”.

Guest artists who will make a special contribution to the show are the dynamic young dancer, Angelique Allison who will interpret Helena’s universal song, “Citizen” with its Utopian theme; Karin Koen (Ckari), a graduate of the University of Pretoria who was born deaf and is performing with Helena for the first time, will do interpretations on Helena’s popular “Seasons of the Heart” (lyrics by Joan Hettema) and “Bonnie and Clyde”, lyrics by Bruno Andries. Helena’s father, double Springbok, Jan Hettema will render Louis Prima’s well-loved “Buona Sera” with Helena and which is also on the CD “Dreaming”. A video of the title song, “Rooiwynliefde” , shot on a wine estate and at the sea, will also be screened during the performance.

Helena is the recipient of an SABC Geraas Award for Best Female Vocalist and Laureate Award from the University of Pretoria, her alma mater. She was nominated twice for a SAMA (SA Music Award).

Helena Hettema is one of SA’s most accomplished artists…album can be recommended for its superb quality …” Classic Feel

“Sysnydieper as die vel…” – MartjieRoos – Beeld

“Een van onsbestesangeresse…” Rapport

“And boy can she sing. Hettema has a voice that ranges from crushed silk to wet gravel and she uses it with sensitivity and skill. It was a stirring performance…great opportunity to see one of South Africa’s finest performers in action.” Peter van der Merwe – Pretoria News

“Her interpretations of the music of Piaf and Brel are almost legendary. She ius one of South Africa’s glossy by-products of the cabaret circuit.” – Rooi Rose

Bookings at: Computicket or the Atterbury Theatre – (012) 471 -1700

Tickets: R120/R140 – discount on block bookings.