The words of an opera are known as the libretto (meaning “small book”). A Singspiel (lit. ’sing-play’) is a form of German-language music drama, now regarded as a genre of opera. It is characterized by spoken dialogue, which is alternated with ensembles, songs, ballads, and arias which were often strophic, or folk-like. It was here at XIII RioWindsFestival on 22 & 23 November, 2023 – Brazil, that Maria – Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, and John Rojas gave a glimpse of their combined book of musical skills and spiritual riches.

Their outfits exhaled the riches of stories; of the heavens and of Africa. It was their masterful musical renditions belying the simplicity of the words ‘small musical ensemble‘.

We invite everyone to watch this beautiful spectacle” – Alerj’s Director of Culture Fernanda Figueiredo of theCultural Corridor of the Center of Rio, the Tiradentes Palace, headquarters of the Legislature, the historic seat of the Rio de Janeiro Parliament‘.

The last composition, a tribute to Brazil, ended the night in a touching way.” – Cultural team – Palacia Tiradentes. (Maria’s composition, performed by her; Abencõ o Brazil lead to standing ovations.)

Students were excited to meet up with the two musicians afterwards

”It was a pleasure to hear a wonderful recital by John Rojas and Maria Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, showcasing many of her mellifluous compositions, her ringing, singing voice and her piano skills in spite of days away from the keyboard due to travelling all the way from South Africa. John’s expert oboe and English horn playing were put to the test in this hour-long program where I loved every note. Here’s a little bit from the last piece on the program, Maria’s hymn to Brazil.” – William Wielgus


Alerj – Palácio Tiradentes – Site Oficial do Palácio Tiradentes (

Alerj – Palácio Tiradentes – Site Oficial do Palácio Tiradentes (

Rio é capital mundial dos sopros em novembro – Notas Musicais

Wind festival goes from Gershwin to ‘founding fathers’ – Diário do Rio de Janeiro (

Artistas Internacionais | Música (é Magia) Para Todos – RJ (

Música no Museu | Rio de Janeiro RJ | Facebook

Rio é capital mundial dos sopros em novembro | Marujo Carioca Produções (

IDRS CONFERENCE 2023 – July 18-22, 2023 – Before and After.

John Rojas (USA oboist &woodwind specialist/pianist) and Maria – Elizabeth Bezuidenhout (RSA Voice; soprano /composer/pianist—- expertise Handel, Mozart and Rossini and cross-over) joined forces as the ‘duo’ – DEO4Musicians and premiered with ‘Heaven’s Frequency‘ Maria’s composition at the IDRS conference in Bangkok, Thailand during July 2023. Keep reading about their trajectory!

DEO4MUSIC is invited to this world-class event!

John and Maria – Elizabeth. See you there!

Welcome to the the 52nd IDRS Conference! This event will feature world-class double reed artists and pedagogues from around the world to present five-days of performances, masterclasses, and lectures. Instrument makers and other vendors will also be on hand to showcase their latest products. Hosts Christopher Schaub (Bassoon), Cooper Wright (Oboe) and Kittima Molee (Bassoon) cordially invite you to the College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand, for this exciting event.

The College of Music complex, located just outside of Bangkok in the Nakhon Pathom province, features world-class music facilities set in a lush tropical environment. Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations, due to the unique combination of traditional Thai culture, paradise scenery, culinary exquisiteness, and the unique warm hospitality of the Land of Smiles. It is an IDRS conference not to be missed!

Welcome | IDRS Conference 2023 ( Mahidol Music Homepage | Open the Door to Your Stage!


John Rojas (oboe) is joined by his Beau Soleil colleagues Sandra Loubser (piano), Derek Fennell (flute) and Marina Louw (viola) in a short programme of chamber music. The concert ends with two works in collaboration with his composer-wife, Marietjie Bezuidenhout.”

  • Telemann I Trio Sonata in C- Minor, Largo and Allegro – Derek Fennnel I Flute, John Rojas I Oboe, Sandra Loubser I Piano. (0.06)
  • Klughardt I Schilflieder No.1, Op. 28 – Marina Louw I Viola, John Rojas I Oboe, Sandra Loubser I Piano. (5.40)
  • Slaap, Kindjie Slaap I Trans., Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, Voice and Piano, John Rojas I Oboe. (9.27)
  • Ensovoorts I Trans., Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, Voice and Piano, John Rojas I Oboe. (11.42) (Excerpt – “Die Blinkvos Perd”)
  • ‘Gabriela’s Song’ from “As it is in Heaven” I Trans., Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, Voice and Piano, John Rojas I Oboe.
  • Audio and Video: Couch Concerts Productions (pictures screenshots from video recording)

John Rojas’ Farewell Concert – YouTube

INTERNATIONAL DOUBLE REED SOCIETY CONFERENCE (IDRS) in Granada, Spain: August 27 to September 1,2018

Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout & John Rojas – International Double Reed Society (IDRS) in Granada, Spain. August 27 – September 1, 2018.

John Rojas recently returned from giving concerts in Granada, Spain at the invitation of the International Double Reed Society representing South Africa at this year’s conference. The program consisted of works by South African composers as well as arrangements of Afrikaans and African folk songs. Pictured with Mr Rojas is his pianist-wife Maria Elizabeth Bezuidenhout.” International Double Reed Society


Woodwind head John Rojas and his accompanist wife Maria Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, known as (Duo4) Deo4, recently performed at the invitation of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Conference in Atlanta, USA. Their programme “South African Flavours” included music of Walter Swanson, arrangements of Afrikaans folk songs as well as a world premiere by Cape Town composer and Beau Soleil parent Grant McLachlan.”

Woodwind (

Stertjie van die Meerkat – “South African Flavours”


Die Padda Wou Gaan Opsit By Sy Nooi In Die Vlei

Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout & John Rojas – International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Conference in Atlanta, USA.

Photo credit: Kelly Newport

04 Jan Pierewiet Variations by DUO4 (


Enjoy the variations of a loved South African – ”Afrikaans” folk song!

Jan Pierewiet” is ’n Afrikaanse volksliedjie. Daar is ’n tradisionele weergawe en een met drie verse deur C.J. Langenhoven.



Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, staan stil;
Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, staan stil.
Goeie môre my vrou, hier’s ‘n soentjie vir jou.
Goeie môre my man, daar is koffie in die kan.


Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, staan stil;
Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewiet, draai om.
Hy draai om en hy leen van sy ouma ‘n bril,
en hy soek met die bril na ‘n vroutjie vir hom.

“Tant Hettie”, sê Pierewiet, “gee Lettie vir my,
of Bettie of Nettie, wie ek kan kry.
En al is ek ook arm, en so lelik daarby,
gee vir my tog ‘n skapie dan troos dit vir my.”

“Jan Pierewiet”, sê Hettie, “Jan Pierewiet, loop slaap.
En droom jy’t ‘n skapie gesoek by ‘n skaap.
En tog darem ‘n apie gekry by ‘n aap
– maar die apie se ma het gesien jy’s ‘n swaap.”


↑ Jump up to:1,0 1,1 “FAK-sangbundel aanlyn”. Geargiveer vanaf die oorspronklike op 11 Mei 2017. Besoek op 9 Mei 2017.


Slegs Mozart (Simply Mozart), Sunday, August. 7, 2016

Venue: Goodnow Hall, Event by Breytenbach Sentrum.

”Audience cellphone snippet” – Slaap Kindjie Slaap.

Hierdie duo bestaan uit die Amerikaanse houtblaas-spesialis, John Rojas en wederhelf, Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout, mezzo-koloratuur. Beide is pianiste en kan mekaar inderdaad begelei in ‘n program wat insluit: twee bewegings uit sonate vir vier hande, arias uit operas en oratorio (Le Nozze, Idomeneo, La Clemenza, Don Giovanni, mis in C), ‘Adagio’ uit hobo-konsert, asook kwintet-verwerking vir ‘cor anglais’.

Kaartjies is R60 (R40 vir pensionarisse) en gratis vir CPUT-personeel en –studente. Besprekings by Olivia Ockhuis:, 021-8732786 of by die deur te koop.

Slegs Mozart – met Duo4 | Facebook

After the show – relaxing at home


Gala Concert & Reception, June 06, 2016.

Stephen Furchess(Organist): “Blessed Union” ( voice,oboe, organ,piano).Bach,Handel, Morricone.

St Francis of Assisi Parish Church, Simon’s Town – Home (



Maria-Elizabeth Bezuidenhout & John Rojas are well known faces and always welcome at – CASA LABIA MUIZENBERG SOUTH AFRICA. Share the historic and interesting background with them, of one of the most fascinating destinations in the Cape Province.

Count Natale Labia was born in 1877 in the little town of Cerignola, near Foggia in Italy. He joined the Italian Foreign Service 1906 and in 1916 he was transferred as Italian Consul to Johannesburg where he met Ida, daughter of the mining pioneer Sir J.B. Robinson whom he married in 1921. Early into their marriage, the Count was appointed Italy’s first minister plenipotentiary and following “JB’s” death in 1929, Count & Countess Labia decided to build a home of their own at Muizenberg on ground which, in the distant past, had been the site of an old battery set up to protect False Bay from hostile and marauding ships. From the start the house was intended to be not merely a family home, but also the Italian Legation, the official residence of Italy’s diplomatic representative in South Africa. As such it had to be essentially Italian in style and character. In particular it was to reflect the spirit of 18th century Venice, it was to be a Cape version of the Palazzo Labia. The man chosen to draw up the plans for the house was the well-known Cape Town architect, the late Fred Glennie.

The interior fittings – the furniture, chandeliers, mirrors, ceiling panels and wall fabrics – were imported from Venice. To ensure that the work was carried out in authentic Venetian style, the Count arranged for an interior decorator to be brought from Italy. The decorator, an excitable and voluble Venetian by the name of Angelo Zaniol, arrived in Cape Town early in 1930 and remained there for the rest of his life. As well as being an experienced decorator, Angelo was a competent artist, one of his few surviving works being the still life that hangs in the dining room at Casa Labia. The building of the house began in 1929 and was eventually completed in 1930. One of the first receptions was in the honour of the King of Italy’s birthday on November 12 of that year. As Count Natale Labia’s diplomatic projects progressed, and as his circle of friends expanded, he began to play an increasingly significant role both in political and economic spheres. Casa Labia came to be a meeting place for statesmen, academics and businessmen from all over the country such as Nicolaas Christiaan Havenga, South Africa’s Minister of Finance from 1924 to 1939, and Isidore William Schlesinger, the well-known entrepreneur and businessman.

With Mussolini’s invasion of the independent African state of Abyssinia and the South African threat of sanctions against Italy, the strain on Count Natale Labia was to prove too great and he died of a stress-related heart-attack in January 1936. In recognition of his long association with South Africa, the Government generously provided a state funeral. It was an impressive affair, with a military band and a long procession of cars and curious onlookers. Writing of the Count the Cape Times commented: “He liked our country and he liked its people and it may equally be said that they liked him, for he was a man natural goodness of heart and of charming hospitality.” And The Cape Argus commented, “Count Labia’s public spirit and generosity are known to every Italian in the Union and to many who are not Italian. He fathered the community in South Africa and helped their children to go to see Italy. He inspired many a good work which no doubt will be continued even though he himself has gone”.

After the funeral Ida Labia took her two sons to live at Hawthornden, Wynberg and refused for a time to set foot in Casa Labia. But in later years she would take her family there for the summer holidays. After Ida’s death in 1961 the house stood empty once more – and a little later, The Fort was leased to the Canadian Government as their embassy in Cape Town and it was subsequently leased for many years to the Argentine Government. A new phase began in 1985 with the joint decision on the part of the Department of National Education, the Director of the South African National Gallery, Dr Raymond van Niekerk, and the Treasury, to preserve Casa Labia and to open it to the public as a museum and cultural centre. The brief converting Casa Labia into a satellite museum of the South African National Gallery was given in July 1985. Construction commenced in May 1987 and the work was completed in March 1988.Twenty years later, in 2008, Count Luccio Labia (son of Count Natale Labia) regained ownership of the property, and it was with assistance from his daughter, Antonia Labia Hardres-Williams that the house was lovingly restored to its original glory and opened as a multi-functional cultural centre and up-market venue in May 2010.


Casa Labia, a declared national monument, is located on the Main Road, Muizenberg and is part of the “Historical Mile” which includes the Recreational Grounds which are on the site of the old barracks erected c. 1740; Muizenberg Station; die Post Huys c. 1673; the old Post Office, later a court house; the old Carnegie Library erected in 1910 and later used as a police station; Casa Labia erected in 1929 as the home of Count and Countess Natale Labia; the two stone villas adjacent to The Fort, and Yokohama, know for many years as the “paper mache” house, which was imported from Japan. On the mountain side opposite Bailey’s Cottage are the trenches used in the Battle of Muizenberg, (on the site of the Eastern Battery erected during the First British Occupation and designed by Thibbault); Rust-en-Vrede designed by Sir Herbert Baker for Sir Abe Bailey; Rhodes Cottage and Garlick’s House. The Whole of the area Described was the focus of the Battle of Muizenberg in 1795. The only guns fired from Dutch East India Company fortifications were fired from the site of Casa Labia and an area below it near Die Post Huys.

Mont Rouge – Valentine’s Day. 14, February, 2016.

Maria and John were a great hit, performing on this exotic farm.

Mont Rouge is a working fruit farm nestled between the towering Winterhoek Mountains situated 12 km north of Tulbagh.

This family farm has been in the ownership of the Du Plessis family for three generations. Being hand on from father to son we have been privileged to grow up in these breathtaking surroundings. Hard work and lots of blessings enable them to live full rich lives close to nature and friends. Here people can enjoy relaxed Afrikaans farmer hospitality (and don’t forget the food!).

Mont Rouge is cultivated with 45 hectares of fruit orchards.”


Six Metamorphoses after Ovid:
01 Britten Pan by DUO4 (

Pan, “who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved.”

Six Metamorphoses after Ovid (Op. 49) is a piece of program music for solo oboe written by English composer Benjamin Britten in 1951.


The piece was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It is dedicated to oboist Joy Boughton, daughter of Benjamin Britten’s friend and fellow composer Rutland Boughton, who gave the first performance at the Aldeburgh Festival on 14 June 1951.


Each of the six sections is based on a character from Roman mythology who is briefly described:

  1. Pan, “who played upon the reed pipe which was Syrinx, his beloved.”
  2. Phaeton, “who rode upon the chariot of the sun for one day and was hurled into the river Padus by a thunderbolt.”
  3. Niobe, “who, lamenting the death of her fourteen children, was turned into a mountain.”
  4. Bacchus, “at whose feasts is heard the noise of gaggling women’s tattling tongues and shouting out of boys.”
  5. Narcissus, “who fell in love with his own image and became a flower.”
  6. Arethusa, “who, flying from the love of Alpheus the river god, was turned into a fountain.”

The piece is between 10 and 15 minutes in length.


The music of the first metamorphosis echoes the “free-spirited” character of its titular figure: it is unmeasured and includes frequent pauses. This contrasts with the second metamorphosis, a quick and rhythmic representation of the chariot ride of Phaeton, marked vivace ritmico. The third is slower and is marked piangendo, or “crying”. The four-part fourth metamorphosis reflects the atmosphere of a drunken feast or festival. The fifth, marked lento piacevole, is meant to convey the act of staring at a reflection in a pool. The work concludes with a “pleasant and meandering” representation of beauty and flow.

(Photos Copyrighted By DEO4MUSIC)