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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

Standing ovation for the UFS Camerata in St Petersburg, Russia
2013-11-26

 
Jan Moritz Onken conducting the Camerata during their performance at the 13th International Conservatoire in St Petersburg, Russia.

The OSM CAMERATA (OSMC), flagship ensemble of the University of the Free State’s Odeion School of Music, received a standing ovation during a gala concert at the 13th International Conservatoire Festival presented on 7 November 2013 in the Glazunov Hall under the baton of Maestro Jan Moritz Onken.

The International Conservatory Festival was founded in 2001 by the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory and has since then become an annual highlight on the concert calendar of St Petersburg.

For the last thirteen years, the festival has developed as a centre of excellence for artists, lecturers, and music experts who represent higher institutions of music from almost every continent. This forum has introduced more than 200 conservatories internationally, and literally produced hundreds of concerts, master’s classes and lectures. Internationally-acclaimed musicians such as Yuri Temirkanov, Rodion Shchedrin, Saulius Sondeckis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Valery Gergiev, Vasily Sinaisky and Semyon Bychkov, as well as young talented performers on the brink of their international careers, have participated in the festival over the years.

The OSMC presented the artistic director of the festival, Prof Lydia Volcheck, with audio-visual material as an audition and received a formal invitation from Prof Mikhail Gantvarg, Rector of the St Petersburg Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, in May 2013. Jan Moritz Onken (who was appointed as the OSMC chief conductor and artistic director for 2012) prepared the ensemble with vigour and discipline. Experienced international OSM alumni and several young international professionals served as mentors throughout the year preceding the event.

The OSMC gave two recitals during the festival – a gala performance in the Glazunov Hall, as well as a concert in the St Petersburg White Hall. For the first concert on 7 November (entitled FOUR CONTINENTS FESTIVAL), the OSMC shared the stage with a piano duo from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music (Katowice, Poland), the String Quartet of the Colburn Conservatory of Music (Los Angeles, USA), as well as an ensemble of Japanese Traditional Instruments from the Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan).

After the last reverberating notes of the performance of the Phantom Waltz (a work commissioned by the OSM from the South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr), a thunderous applause and shouts of bravo exploded! The OSMC responded spontaneously with a kwela improvisation as an encore.

Dagbreek broadcast: http://bit.ly/1evTgR3

 

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