The Bartered Bride Cast

 

Sir Emeka Nwokedi  

Sir Emeka Nwokedi studied Music at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and has been very active in the practice of this art form since graduation in the early 1980’s. He has been an instructor at the Nigerian Army School of Music, Ojo, Lagos; a broadcaster in the Music section of Voice of Nigeria and Radio Nigeria, Lagos; a lecturer in Music at the Lagos State College of Education, Ijanikin; Organist and Choirmaster in various churches, notably St. Barth's Anglican Church, Aguda Lagos, Tinubu Methodist Church, Lagos and All Saints Anglican Church, Surulere, Lagos (where he is currently the Director of Music and Organist). He has also been the Director of Music at Orpheus Company Limited, a leading music company in Nigeria.

In 1988, Sir Emeka, with the late Senator Lere Adesina, established the Lagos City Chorale; a group that has been in the forefront of excellence in choral music in Nigeria. Till date, he has been its Conductor and Music Director with extensive performances all over Nigeria and beyond. Under his direction, the choir participated in the 7th World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. from 2nd July – 14th July, 2012. They won three silver medals for Nigeria in three different champions’ competitions.

In 1992, at the official invitation of the duo of Mr. Akintola Williams, then Chairman of MUSON and his vice and former Chairman of the Artistes & Programmes Committee, Louis Mbanefo, Emeka joined MUSON and became a member of the Artistes & Programmes Committee. In this capacity, he has constantly auditioned, recruited and trained a number of young musicians that perform in MUSON and other concerts. Under the direction of the Artistes & Programmes Committee, he established a permanent MUSON Choir in 1994.

Sir Emeka has had the privilege of participating in music festivals, seminars and workshops in England and the United States of America. In 1999, at the invitation of the British Choral Institute directed by Dr. Wales and under the sponsorship of the British Council, he had an extensive musical tour in England. He was a guest at such institutions as the Royal Albert Hall; the Royal College of Music; King's College, Cambridge; the Royal Academy of Music; St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, among others. His musicianship was thoroughly enhanced by attending several rehearsals and concerts of prominent groups like the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and the British Youth Orchestra.

Emeka has been a consultant to many institutions and has trained many young people to attain high standards in musical performances. He currently consults for Shell Nigeria and is the coordinator of the Shell Choral Competition for Secondary Schools in Nigeria (which he organizes under the auspices of MUSON). His choral workshops are attended by over 2000 secondary school students yearly.

At the establishment of the Diploma programme of the MUSON School of Music in 2006, Sir Emeka Nwokedi became one of the three pioneering staff alongside Mrs. Marion Akpata and Mrs. Edna Soyannwo. He teaches vocal studies, conducting, African music and directs the Diploma School Choir (which had two well-received performance tours of China in 2010). He is also the Diocesan Organist and Choirmaster of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos Mainland. In recognition of his immense contributions to the development of Church music in Nigeria, he was honoured with an investiture of the Knight of St. Christopher in the Anglican Communion. In addition, he recently got elected to the membership of the World Choir Council.

Emeka is married to Afy and they are blessed with four children.

 

CAST

 

Marie

 

 

Ifunanya Anekwe

 

Jenik

 

 

Guchi Egbunine

 

Krushina

 

 

Adeniyi Samuel

Ludmila

 

 

Nmesoma Ogbuani

 

Kezal

 

 

Olumide Dada

Vasek

 

 

Stanley Okoli

Micha

 

 

Jon Williams

 

Hata

 

 

Maryann Agetu

Principal comedian

 

 

Mbazuigwe Chizurum

Esmeralda

 

 

Irede Adegoke

Indian

 

 

Benson Utomi

Stage Director

David Ihechukwu


 


Ifunanya Anekwe

Ifunanya began her musical journey as a soprano singer at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.

In 2014, a great admirer of her voice, Mrs Francesca Emmanuel encouraged her to take singing lessons from Sir Emeka Nwokedi. This step led to her taking MUSON Grade 5 exams in voice and theory of music in which she got a distinction and pass respectively.

She applied for the MTN foundation/ MUSON diploma programme and was eventually selected to be a student of the school, with voice as her major instrument under the tutelage of Sir Emeka Nwokedi. She graduated from the MUSON school of Music in September 2016. She passed the ABRSM Grade 7 exams and ABRSM Grade 8 singing exams with a distinction.

She is currently a member of the MUSON choir and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church Choir Victoria Island.

 

Maryann Onyebuchi Agetu

Maryann, a mezzo soprano, started singing at a tender age with St. Cecilia Choir of St. Denis Catholic Church, Akoka, Lagos.

She has sung in various choral groups like The Laz Ekwueme Chorale, Chorale De Magnifique, B-Clef Voices and currently with the MUSON Choir, and has performed several major works like Handel’s Messiah, Christmas Oratorio, Magic Flute by W. A. Mozart and sang the 3rd Boy part, Mass in B Minor by J. S. Bach and she sang the Soprano duet part with Francesca Boyo Adeoti, John Stainer’s Crucifixion, Pirates of the Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan and sang the Kate part at the 2015 MUSON Festival, J. S. Bach’s St. John’s Passion in which she took the Alto Solo, etc.

She is a graduate from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Planning, University of Ibadan with a B.Ed. in Economics and has a Diploma in Music from the MUSON School of Music as a Voice Major, and has passed grade 7 Singing and grade two piano playing from MUSON and grade 8 singing and grade 7 theory of Music from Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM).

She has a daughter who is already into music, learning three different instruments (Violin, Piano and the Recorder), praying and hoping she excels more than her mother. 

She is currently working at MUSON as the School Secretary.


Benson Utomi

Benson Utomi, a double major musician, is an international Singer and Trombonist, with a lot of experience over the years performing in various events and concerts. He is a highly trained and musician with qualified International certificates with Merit and Distinction (ABRSM), live performances, music training and recordings. He has international certificates in music, both singing and as a trombonist. 

He has been singing as a soloist and as a chorus Master for years. He is an international Medalist in several World competitions competing with groups from all over the world doing Nigerian folk songs and western music. In 2012 he represented Nigeria with The Lagos City Chorale (LCC) in Cincinnati Ohio USA and won 3 Silver Medals, 2013 he was in Austria for the European Choir Games and came back with gold medals, He represented Nigeria in 2014 for the World Choir Games winning 3 silver Medals, also in Germany 2015 competed in the European Games and bagged 2 Gold and 2 silver medals with (LCC). He holds key positions in LCC, MUSON Orchestra, MUSON choir, Abuja Philharmonic Orchestra, D.K.O Orchestra, Playhouse Voices conducted by Ben Ogbeiwi (Project Fame Music Director & Conductor Adrenaline band), played and participated over the years at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in Cape Town, South Africa. Though classically inclined His versatility speaks for him, being able to do other genre of music in other to communicate to a wider audience of various music appeal. He has successfully mastered his arts and given a wide range of performances to several audiences both nationally and internationally. He has a broad range of repertoire for several kinds of concerts and events; these includes classical music, scored jazz/contemporary music, Broadway music, folk and indigenous african music. 

He has worked under the auspices of Professor Laz Ekwueme, Thomas Kanitz (conductor of MUSON orchestra and world renowned cellist), Tunde Jegede (world renowned coposer, UK), Ayo Bankole Jnr, K-Sticks, Ben Ogbeiwi, Cobhams Asuquo e.t.c.

 

David Ihechukwu

 

David’s musical journey started many years ago as a Treble boy at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Aguda under the then Music Director, Late Mr. Eric Njoku. He was later admitted into the Lagos City Chorale in 2007 0=-h6reto sing as a counter-tenor. He has under Sir Emeka Nwokedi’s tutelage grown to be one of the leading, and consistent singers in the chorale, serve as an assistant to the Music Director and also stand active in organizing of events. In 2011, he was again admitted into the MUSON Choir and is the leading counter-tenor in the choir.

Throughout his years of active singing, he has performed with top-notch choirs in classical, operatic, contemporary & folk music.

David is a student of the prestigious MUSON School of Music majoring in vocal performance under Sir Emeka Nwokedi. He passed the ABRSM Grade 7 exams and ABRSM Grade 8 singing exams with a distinction. He serves as the President of the Student Union of the School, known as MUDISTA.

With the Lagos City Chorale, He has had the privilege to represent Nigeria at various Choir Olympic, which include; European Choir Games (ECG), Austria, 2013; World Choir Games (WCG), Latvia, 2014, ECG, Germany, 2015; WCG, Russia, 2016, in which they’ve won gold and silver medals back-to-back.

He served as a Choir Master at Emmanuel Anglican Church, NRC, Ebute-Metta, and is the Conductor/Choir Master of the Heralds of Hamony (HoH).

David enjoys teaching the choir, music conducting, vocal coaching and stage performance direction and intends to broaden his knowledge on each of these areas, as well as music arranging and improve further on his vocal performance.

 

Jon Williams

 

Jon is a graduate of the University of Ibadan. He began his earliest musical training in voice and piano as a choir boy at St' Paul's Catholic Church, Ebute metta.

During his days as a chorister, he rose to become one of the leading trebles and later became the best tenor in the choir.

He joined the University of Ibadan choral Ensemble in 2001 under the tutelage of Ayo Ogunranti and Chike Okwarandu during which he took part as leading soloist in operas such as the trial by jury, Masetto in the mid-century opera Don Giovanni by W.A Mozart. He has also sang the part of Elijah in Mendelssohn's Elijah.

In 2003, he was a finalist in the MUSON festival youth competition (Musiquest) which proved a turning point in his music journey.

Jon has garnered considerable experience from holding various positions as music director and conductor for Our lady of Fatima choir, Church of Nativity choir, St' Cecilia's student choir university of Ibadan.

He is a member of the prestigious MUSON choir and presently under the tutelage of sir Emeka Nwokedi.

Jon is an operatic baritone, choir director, and composer. He also plays the piano and fuses classical music with other genre of music.

 

His aim is to be an inspiration to young music lovers and to touch lives with the sound of music.

 

Mbazuigwe Chizurum

Mbalichizi as popularly known is a tenor singer, pianist, piano and vocal teacher and choir director. Born in a family of seven. His singing started as a choirboy with the help of his wonderful mother chief Mrs C. C. Mbazuigwe. In spite of his musical talent displayed at tender age, he chose to study Biochemistry. He also has diploma in music from the MUSON Diploma School of Music Performance under the tutelage of Sir Emeka Nwokedi.

Mbalichizi has taken a variety of solo rendition with the MUSON orchestra, MUSON choir, and several church choirs. He was awarded the best voice during his diploma course at MUSON centre. Also he was awarded the outstanding teacher of the year at Masha Music Academy. 

He is ready to take the world by a storm as he aspires to be a greater performer and a music consultant by God's grace.


Nmesoma Salome Ogbuani  

This graduate of Industrial Chemistry from the University of Lagos started singing in her church choir as a teenager and was a recipient of the MTN Foundation scholarship to study Music as a Voice Major under the tutelage of Sir, Emeka Nwokedi and other Maestros. She emerged as the best female singer and was one of the 3 special awardees by MTN. She has certificates in ABRSM Singing grade and Theory of Music Trinity London (Distinction and Merit respectively).

Nmesoma has since performed works (operatic works, leaders, broadways, etc) by different composers ranging from the Baroque to the 21st Century: W.A Mozart, G.F Handel, Franz Schubert, Verdi, Edward Greig, Andrew Lloyd Webber, etc.

She is member of the Lagos City Chorale, MUSON choir and the Chinese Cultural Association, has performed at various Chinese festivals and also plays the trombone.

She hopes and aims to work with great bodies like DreamWorks, Disney and aspires to be a source of inspiration to both young and old.

 

Olumide Dada

 

Olumide is a graduate of The University of Lagos where he studied Actuarial Science. He can simply be described as a young man with a difference. At the 2006 talent hunt for new faces organised by MUSON, He took part in the competition and emerged the first runner up. That experience brought him to limelight and there has been no stopping him since then. He sings classical music with a mixture of Broadway, jazz and contemporary and whenever he is on stage, his performance is soothing to the body and soul.

Olumide started singing just at about 2003 when he joined his church choir (Holy Cross Cathedral Lagos). Along the line, he met a woman (Regina Anajemba), an accomplished musicologist who developed interest in him and decided to give him his first training, and in no time introduced him to professional singing. Olumide trained under the likes of Professor Laz. Ekueme, Late Elder Steve Rhodes, Benneth Ogbewi, Sir Emeka Nwokedi. Shortly after then, Olumide became a Baritone Soloist and went commercial in 2006, performing at different events and occasions around the country, to mention a few; the NBA annual dinner, Peak Milk Mock Reality Show. Olumide is the resident soloist for Patrick Oke and Associates, the resident soloist for ICAN, he has also performed at the Women on Wellness Exposè organised by Allure Vanguard, City People Fashion Awards Festival, International Wedding Week organised by The Wedding Planner Magazine, Naija Fiesta organised by TW Magazine, the welcome conference of the Singaporean Ambassador to Nigeria organised by Standard Chartered bank, featured in SARO the musical 1, Glo Privè, Terra Kulture at 10, amongst other performances.

In 2010, Olumide got a scholarship by MTN foundation to study music at the Muson Diploma School of Music. This has helped Olumide to become a professional voice trainer and an award winning Baritone Soloist in Nigeria certified by The Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music in London.

Olumide is a facilitator at the Proemcees OAP Academy owned by Kamal Salau where he teaches vocal and breathing techniques. Olumide is also a model, an actor and a broadcaster, happily married with two children.

 

The MUSON Choir

The MUSON Choir was established as a permanent group in 1995 when Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel and Sir Emeka Nwokedi, two members of the MUSON Artistes Committee, were charged with the responsibility of grooming a Choir for the Society.

Over the years, the Choir hosts and performs at various MUSON programmes which include the Passiontide and Christmas concerts. The choir’s performance of Choral Concert used to be the grand finale of the annual MUSON Festival of Arts.

 On the MUSON stage in 2011, the Choir pioneered and produced “The Pirates of Penzance”, a complete English opera by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert. The Choir also played a major role in the three-time production of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” with the MUSON Symphony Orchestra.

The Choir also performs regularly at the annual Christmas concerts of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company SNEPCO. In December 2013, it was invited by the Ikoyi Club 1938’s to lead the singing of all the hymns and carols at the club’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Its repertoire ranges from African contemporary choral music to works by great music masters including popular cantatas and oratorios.

 

The Choir accepts invitation to perform at concerts, weddings, birthday celebrations, service of songs, funerals and other social and religious occasions.