Cape Town Opera (CTO) continues its work in 2019 with schools participating in the South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod / ABC Motsepe Eisteddfod competition. At the beginning of April CTO’s Youth Development and Education team will travel to Polokwane, Klerksdorp, Johannesburg, Durban, Umtata, Queenstown, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, George and Cape Town to bring free music training to over 2000 learners.
Professional opera singers Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Nonhlanhla Yende, Lunga Halam* (a winner of the solo tenor category in the 2006 Metro East SASCE regional competition), Luvuyo Mbundu, Emmanuel Maqoma, pianist Paul Ferreira and tour co-ordinator Masixole Makwetu will spend three weeks, driving over 8 000 kilometres, to bring music education to 80 public schools. Thato Machona facilitated the team’s preparation and rehearsals. In a series of dynamic vocal boot camps, the singers and pianist will teach students how to perform the classical repertoire required in the competitions. The workshops will include physical warm-ups, breathing exercises, language pronunciation, vocal resonation and perfecting some of the tongue twisters in the classical repertoire. Many learners have never rehearsed or sang with a pianist, and the coaching provided by pianist Ferreira integrates their vocal performance with an accompanying instrument.
Masixole Makwetu, CTO’s national school’s tour coordinator says, ‘This national tour is of real importance to learners in South Africa’s rural areas where there is little or no access to professional musical tutoring. Many of our young opera stars were first introduced to opera at one of CTO’s annual national school’s tour visits to their school. Cecilia Rangwanasha*, a member of CTO’s 2017 / 2018 Young Artist programme who now enjoys a solo opera career, set her heart on becoming an opera singer after CTO visited her school in Limpopo. I look forward to meeting many aspiring opera singers – there is just so much talent in our country.’
Cape Town Opera thanks the very generous and committed support of the City of Cape Town, MariaMarina Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank, the UK Friends of Cape Town Opera Charitable Trust, CTO Patrons and the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for our Youth Development and Education activities.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adZIIH6LxGc Lunga Halam loves opera, listen to his story.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsNc3W7ejAQ Cecilia Rangwanasha shares her opera journey.