Karen Zoid on stage.

Karen Zoid, Khaya Mthethwa, Nicholas Nicolaidis and other top vocalists perform with full philharmonic orchestra.

Fans of classical music – and those who want to relax with some soothing sounds on the long weekend – can tune into M-Net channel 101 on Friday afternoon at 15:00. M-Net has secured the rights to screen Starlight Classics, the classy outdoor concert that has been run by Rand Merchant Bank for the past 19 years.

The spectacular concert featuring the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is directed by The Voice SA series director Darren Hayward and showcases some familiar M-Net faces such as Voice SA coach Karen Zoid, Season 1 finalist Thembeka Mnguni and Idols Season 10 winner Khaya Mthethwa. Other famous classical musicians and singers in the line-up include Pumeza Matshikiza, Jacques le Roux, Nicholas Nicolaidis, pianist Charl du Plessis and the Mzansi Youth Choir.

Starlight Classics, which is attended by over 4 000 people and is held twice a year, is an innovatively Afro-symphonic music experience which literally takes place under the stars and is the brainchild of renowned South African conductor and maestro Richard Cock and Rand Merchant Bank.

RMB’s Starlight Classics concert

In this once-off concert music fans of all ages can sit back and enjoy classical themes such as Puccini’s O Soave Fanciulla by South African opera star Pumeza Matshikiza and Tenor Jacques le Roux, as well as musical mash-ups like Karen Zoid’s Aeroplane Jane accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Khaya Mthethwa will perform a thrilling cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with the backing vocals of the Mzansi Youth Choir, Thembeka Mnguni gives a blistering rendition of the Gloria Gaynor smash hit I Will Survive and there will be an out-of-the-ordinary duet of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory as covered by Jacques le Roux and Khaya Mthethwa. Viewers can also look forward to an epic Prince and David Bowie tribute and a finale performance featuring all of the artists of the evening.

“Since 1998, RMB’s vision has been has been to broaden the reach of the diverse Afro-symphonic blend of music that has become its innovative signature. It’s about distinctly African energy collaborating with orchestral excellence, with the resulting whole being far greater than the sum of the performing parts” says Carolynne Waterhouse of RMB marketing. The concerts are RMB’s way of going to a sincere effort to ultimately strengthen and grow South Africa’s creative economy. “Starlight Classics has become a strong “arts and culture” brand that represents the endless potential for South Africa’s creative economy to be prosperous,” Waterhouse adds.

This year’s show was recorded at the picturesque Vergelegen Wine Estate in Cape Town.