Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 28th 2013 Contents B6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 28, 2013
Smith, who has been
singing since the age of
eight, said he acted in the
Porgy and Bess show when
it came to Trinidad in 2005.
"I am fortunate that I
already know the role
because I did it before. The
Living Arts Inc has been
performing since the 1980s
and the cast is well respect-
ed," Smith said.
He said the songs were
comfortable for him to do.
Smith said T&T had
extraordinary talent, but
many performers are
unable to make it to an
international stage because
of financial constraints.
"I would like to see more
involvement from the Gov-
ernment because I have
never seen anyone get com-
plete government funding.
They always have to make
it on their own and because
of this many good talent is
lost. The Government
should provide avenues for
people to go abroad," Smith
Smith, who won several
awards at the Billenial
Music Festival in 2008 as
well as the best vocalist
award for Scouting for Tal-
ent in 2003, said he was
fortunate to get interna-
He also performed in
Geraldine Connor s Carni-
val Messiah show in Eng-
land in 2007.
Smith also sang at the
Kennedy Centre in Wash-
ington in 2008. Also in
2008, he produced a CD of
classical compositions called
An Enchanted Evening. Leandra Head
Two members of the T&T Guardian
family are set to join a New York-based
cast in an international performance
of the legendary opera, Porgy and Bess
at Budapest, Hungary, this August.
The youngest of the cast is 19-year-
old Leandra Head, daughter of Guardian
former chief photographer and Reuters
correspondent Andrea De Silva.
Marvin Smith, Guardian associate edi-
tor, is also set to take on one of the semi-
principal roles of the opera which features
the story of Porgy, a disabled black beggar
living in the slums of Charleston, South
Carolina. The show deals with Porgy s
attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches
of her violent and possessive lover.
Head: It's an honour
In an interview, Head said it was an
honour to be on a cast from the New
York-based team, Living Arts Inc. She
said when Trinidadian Anne Fridal
offered the opportunity to be on the
show, she was estatic. The three-time
Sanfest first-place winner said it was
her dream to perform on an international
stage. Although she is not as experienced
as the other cast members, Head said it
was a learning experience.
"This is one of the biggest things I ve
ever done. It is really exciting. I can see
myself doing international performances.
I enjoy performing and singing," Head
She explained that the first time she
ever performed on stage was on Twelve
and Under when she was nine years old.
"It was terrifying for me, but I enjoyed
it," she said. She has also written songs
which she said were too personal to share.
"I like songs with deep meaning. If
the song has emotion you need to find
it and work it into your voice. You have
to connect with the song and feel the
meaning of it," Head said.
She said singing relaxes her. "I have
written poetry and songs but they are
too personal to share. I want to produce
my own songs. One day when I am ready,
I will let people see what I have written.
For now, I don t want to share it because
you make yourself vulnerable if you let
people into your heart," Head said.
Recalling some of her earlier singing
experiences, the teenager said one of her
teachers at Mucurapo Girls Primary
School encouraged her to sing. She later
joined Sanfest competitions and placed
first three times in a row. Head said one
of her greatest challenges was to master
the 15 songs which are part of the Porgy
and Bess performance.
"I spend between four to five hours
practising. The songs have a lot of dif-
ferent tempos and changes in melodies
and keys," Head said. The teenager, who
left for New York on Saturday, said
rehearsals will be held in New York and
also in Hungary, where there will be
Smith: Govt needs
to get more involved
Meanwhile, Smith said he, too, was
excited about the show. Unlike Head, he
has already performed internationally in
Washington, London and England.
Trini singers head to Budapest
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