A Night at the Opera Gala is a special fund-raising event featuring an evening of beautiful music featuring arias, duets and excerpts from operas by Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet and more. It will take place at the Baxter on 20 July 2019.
Included on the bill are the internationally acclaimed sopranos Goitsemang Lehobye and Nozuko Teto, mezzo-sopranos Violina Anguelov, Bongiwe Nakani and Ane Pretorius, tenors Makudu Senaoana, Sipho Fubesi, Owen Metsileng (who has just returned from singing at the Cardiff Singer of the World) and Menzi Mngoma (the recently-discovered Uber driver.) The concert is conducted by operatic maestro Kamal Khan.
A Night at the Opera Gala will raise funds for the Opera Voices of South Africa project, which is dedicated to enabling the training and nurturing of young South African musicians, particularly singers, by supporting local, national and international collaborations.
A Night at the Opera Gala: Background
Once a year South African baritone Njabulo Madlala, who is based in the UK, comes to South Africa to stage opera master classes, and invites colleagues from Europe to take part. 25 local singers will be attending master classes this year in Cape Town, following a countrywide audition process. The master classes take place under the auspices of the Opera Voices of South Africa project .
Last year the project successfully staged a training programme and master classes supported by British opera companies The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Opera North, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Les Azuriales Opera Festival and the Umculo Incubator. They all sent a representative of their company to South Africa, all of whom worked intensively with 25 young singers and led public master classes, taught the singers on a one-on-one basis, gave talks, produced a performance held in Wellington at Diemersfontein and discovered some amazing talent.
Subsequent to that collaboration, the English National Opera company offered employment to eight singers who travelled to London and appeared in their 2019 Olivier Award-winning Porgy and Bess production, and the Royal Opera House offered two of the singers Thando Mjandana and Chuma Sijeqa an opportunity to join their current 2018/19 Link Artist Scheme. They are currently in London receiving this training. A young soprano, Cecilia Rangwanasha, who was one of the trainees, was invited to join the young artist programme at the Royal Opera House starting in September 2019. She will be in London for two years honing her skills.
The Guildhall School of Music & Drama has offered three full scholarships to three singers who will be joining them in September 2019. The popular bass singer, Msimelelo Mbali, has been accepted to the National Opera Studio in London, also starting in September 2019.
Moving forward, the 2019 master classes will be staged in Cape Town between 18 and 28 July 2019. The top 25 singers have been chosen from hundreds of hopefuls who applied this year. At the end of the ten day training period, there will be a singing competition.
The Opera Voices of South Africa project is ultimately dedicated to the education, mentoring and inspiration of the next generation of opera stars out of Africa.
What: A Night at the Opera Gala
Where and when: Baxter on 20 July 2019