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Louise du Toit

Louise du Toit, the youngest child of musical, artistic parents, was born and raised in South Africa. All throughout her school years, she studied classical piano and violin at the Royal College of London and Unisa, taking part in numerous recitals and concerts with youth orchestras and choirs and also starting her official performing career at a tender young age, as a child actress for PACOFS in South Africa. These performances thoroughly shaped her impressive stage presence. Acting and singing in well-known musicals as a member of National Arts Companies, with which she toured South Africa and Europe, she continued to win many cultural awards for her contribution to the Arts. After enrolling at the University of the Free State in South Africa, she successfully completed a a four year course in Theater and Performance Arts, which also included stage, scenic and costume design, while continuing her music and vocal lessons at the same institute. She regularly played lead parts in musicals for the UOFS and PACOFS, sang in operas and concerts for PACOFS and wrote, produced and directed theater plays, winning more awards. On obtaining her degree, she performed as a freelance actress, singer and musician in Johannesburg in South Africa. She collaborated with gifted artists like Mauritz Lotz, Lulu Gontsana, Glen Mafoko, Surendran Reddy, Louis van Rensburg, Lochner de Kock, Richard van der Westhuizen and many other well-known musicians and artists, doing radio and television work, recording her own music with the orchestras of the South African Broadcasting Corporation and also writing and illustrating a music songbook with African themes and lyrics.

Winning a national song writing competition in South Africa was the key to moving abroad. In Athens she worked as a singer, pianist and violinist at lots of different venues, performing at the Residence of the South African Ambassador in Greece on several occasions and taking part in many radio and television advertisements for the Greek media. During this time, she formed the group, Committee 3, with Spiros Papaspirou and Edmund Diolulu, co-writing and recording an album, ‘Alright’, which received many rave reviews from all over the world, afterwards also producing and recording an album, ‘Moments’, with her gifted guitarist husband, Christos Koulouridis. In 2005 she obtained her degree in Opera and Classical Singing with full honors in Greece. She has since been giving vocal lessons to numerous students and professional singers.

For seven months of the year, she performs nightly to a cosmopolitan audience as a member of three different musical groups (a duo, a trio and an 8-member band) and regularly sings with a symphonic orchestra of more than 50 members. Having performed again with great success at the National Heritage Day in September 2009 in Athens, she also continues her music concerts representing South Africa in Greece, with a repertoire in many traditional South African languages, including Zulu and Xhosa.

Apart from her solo career as a performance artist, she is also the singer of the international group, FUEGO DE LUNAR, which came to life when she joined her musical skills and stage experience of many years with those of Athenian musician Christos Koulouridis, to form a live music group, which has since blossomed in Greece and around the world. For seven months of the year they perform nightly, having given more than 2500 performances during the past years to an audience from all walks of life, including princes and presidents; holiday seekers and happy families; well-known stage personalities, actors, musicians, singers, writers and poets; scientists, romantic grooms and brides, dancing teenagers and warm circles of close friends. Their songs form a wide array of different cultures and countries, stretching over many decades and sung in more than 12 languages, are carefully chosen and continuously enhanced to reach out to the hearts of everyone that is open to receive inspiring messages, to relive forgotten memories and to drift away to a world that is full of lyrical vocals, soulful sounds and exciting grooves. Their own compositions with its honest lyrics interwoven into strong melodies, are romantic and ethereal, positively supporting peace and unity in the world and aiming to capture their love for life and all that it offers.

Her most recent musical venture is as the singer of AINESHANA , a new music group formed in 2008 with many talented musicians from different parts of the world. Their first CD-DVD single, 'My Heart is a Sea', with two tracks and their remixes, was successfully released in the genre of world music, receiving beautiful reviews. The title track of the single, MY HEART IS A SEA, composed by Louise du Toit, was also released as a music video, filmed by the experienced director Ioannis Vlatakis and produced by Arctos and Tree del Art. The unusual, exquisite sound of the Viola di Roda in the intro and solo parts of the song was added by the gifted Spanish musician, Efren Lopez.

Louise du Toit also exhibits her work as a drawing artist. In May 2007, she had her first art exhibition in Greece, introducing us to the advanced technique of combining colorful drawings, paper-cutting and collage with subjects drawn from nature, landscapes and life in her beloved continent of origin, Africa. She completed a collection of 10 songs about African animals, writing the lyrics in Greek, to accompany some of her paintings at her second exhibition in May 2008, which was held at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu in Greece, under the title of ‘The Colors of Africa’, as well as the third in September 2008, at the beautiful Athens Residence of the South African Ambassador. Another collection of 14 piano compositions accompanied 14 of her animal paintings, together with short stories based on her childhood memories from South Africa. This collection of compositions, drawings and stories will be released as a colorful book in the future.

Louise du Toit is also actively involved in theater work as a play writer, director and scenic designer. In March 2011 she completed the script and music score of her new musical, "The Witch of Woccabocca", of which two very successful performances were staged in May and December 2011, in collaboration with the Ionian Conservatory of Music in Corfu. The Greek translation of the musical was done by the distinguished writer and poet, Panagiotis Xanthopoulos. Louise was the main director and scenic artist of the production, assisted by a talented team of professional artists and musicians, child actors and music students. A successful colorful exhibition of the scenery, costumes and stage props, held at the Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu, followed the first performance in 2011. In April 2010 she wrote the music and lyrics for three sold-out productions of "The Vagina Dialogues" in Corfu in Greece, did the music arrangements and performed the songs live on stage with the actresses.

She is currently working on completing her next two musicals, with two very different themes, for future performances in theaters in Greece and other countries of the world.

Louise du Toit is also using her music and art to spread a worldwide message of environmental and wildlife preservation. Her most recent work includes a list of several music videos for various animals rights organizations, aimed at raising awareness about the plight of animals in their struggle for survival:

MARCH 2012
Louise du Toit - Dear Mr President
Louise du Toit - A WORLD WITHOUT
Louise du Toit - SEALS OF NAM

Louise du Toit and Karen Lyons Kalmenson - EARTH WALTZ
Louise du Toit - Gentle Giants
Louise du Toit - STOP

Louise du Toit - Birds of Beautiful Feathers
Louise du Toit - JUST LOVE

Louise du Toit - Vivus Sectio - OPPOSING VIVISECTION
Louise du Toit - WEEAC - THE TIME HAS COME

Louise du Toit - Howl Across America

Louise du Toit and Friends - Share
Louise du Toit - 40 Amazing Attributes

Louise du Toit - Save the Rhino
Louise du Toit - Pawfect Nation
Louise du Toit - Ode to the Wolves

Louise du Toit - WE CAN SAY NO
Louise du Toit - When Darkness Falls

JULY 2010
Louise du Toit - Save the Seals
Louise du Toit - The Difference

MAY 2010
Louise du Toit - Ode to the Amur Leopard

APRIL 2010
Louise du Toit - Heart of Australia

MARCH 2010
Louise du Toit - Once