May 29 2023. views 247
Since her last performance in 2019, International operatic soprano Kishani Jayasinghe returns to Colombo to host an evening of music for a cause that is near and dear to her heart, in aid of Sri Lanka’s largest paediatric hospital - the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH).
The Sri Lankan born singer, currently based in Sydney, shares that there is nothing like coming home and performing to her ‘toughest audience’ yet. Though the international singer has sung for the now King Charles at the Buckingham Palace on his 60th birthday celebrations, performed with renowned opera houses in Europe and Asia and holds the title as the first ever Sri Lankan and South Asian soprano to perform at the prestigious Royal Opera House Covent Garden, she confesses that performing at home is still her toughest gig - a juxtapose of excitement and nerves. “Sri Lanka is my toughest audience, performing to a crowd who knows you on a personal level. But I love doing what I do at home and whether its singing at the Buckingham Palace for the King or performing here in Colombo for your family and friends, it doesn’t change the value of the performance. It’s equally exciting to perform here at home and it’s always a very special moment for me. To receive so much love and support – it’s so personal”.
Which is why she is beyond excited to take the stage this June after a 3-year hiatus, for a cause that’s equally personal to her. Having been a part of a fundraiser to help set up a new epilepsy unit for the Lady Ridgeway Hospital a few years ago, Kishani has always been in awe of the work the hospital does. “People from all over the country come to this hospital when they are at their most vulnerable and this hospital takes care of everyone with such passion and care” shares Kishani. “I have a strong personal connection with LRH and I’m so grateful for what they do for people. I have always wanted to give back in any way I could, and it means so much that I can support the hospital by doing what I love to do.”
‘Kishani sings for LRH’ is poised to be a concert with beautiful music for a beautiful cause with a little something for everyone to enjoy. Carefully curated to include a range of genres and styles, Kishani will perform arias from her ‘go-to’ composer of all time, Puccini as well as the works of classical composers Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi. She will also sing a few French favourites from composers, the likes of Gounod, and combine with the traditional, classical genres the more contemporary and modern styles of classical jazz with the works of Gershwin and others of that ilk as well as a few surprising songs that people will recognize and love.
Joining Kishani on stage this June is composer and concertmaster Lakshman Joseph de Saram and several principals of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo. “Lakshman is a brilliant musician whom I’ve worked with before and having him in this concert is so very exciting as it adds more nuance to the performance and heightens the operatic experience to the audience.”
“I want to create magic,” adds Kishani on a concluding note, “it’s for the hospital, it’s for my people. It has to be beautiful. I encourage you to join us for a beautiful night that’s in aid of a beautiful cause. Whether you like classical, traditional, contemporary or folk, I promise there is something here for you that you will enjoy.”