An opportune tour for group

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 June, 1998, 12:00am

Sixteen fresh young voices joined in harmony - without musical backing - to delight local audiences.

They were the Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes, a co-ed a capella group from one of the United States' most prestigious Ivy League universities.

The 16-member group, from countries as diverse as Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and Malaysia, staged several performances in Hong Kong.

Most of the members - all undergraduates at Harvard - are headed towards a non-musical profession despite being seasoned musicians.

Opportunes president Roy Kosuge, 21, from Brazil, told Young Post the group hoped to gain greater exposure outside the US.

He said the group hoped to travel to the mainland and Japan in the future and the trip to the SAR was a useful stepping stone.

Mr Kosuge said he loved being at the helm of the Opportunes, one of 14 a capella groups at Harvard. 'Music is an international language and we hope our work appeals to a wide audience.

'We also want to introduce audiences to the Harvard tradition.' Their repertoire is an eclectic mix of tunes, ranging from contemporary pop, jazz, swing, rock 'n' roll, traditional folk, and R & B - in fact, any type of music dating from the 1920s.

'We are not like most a capella groups who are usually all-female or all-male,' Mr Kosuge said.

'We're just a bunch of students from Harvard with diverse cultural and ethnic roots, who love singing.' Most of the group had never visited Hong Kong before, except Christie Yih, who hails from the SAR.

The 20-year-old is in her second year of Asian Studies at Radcliffe.

A former student at the Hong Kong International School, Ms Yih said she was thrilled to be visiting her home with the group.

Before joining the Opportunes she had only performed in a small group and had not travelled much.

'But with the Opportunes, we have staged large performances and travelled widely.' Formed in 1980 by former students Simin Yazdgerdi and Suzanne Goldsmith, the ensemble has won international acclaim for their innovative arrangements, original choreography and superb vocal performance.