Voices of South Africa Opera Competition winners

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Njabulo Madlala has announced the winners of this year’s Voices of South Africa Opera Competition held in Cape Town over the past weekend.

1st Prize Winner of R30 000, Lebogang Polori (Mezzo Soprano)
1st Prize Winner of R30 000, Lebogang Polori (Mezzo Soprano)

Issuing a statement online, Madlala said this week: “I am very happy to present to you the 2019 Voices of South Africa Opera Competition 1st Prize Winner of R30 000, Lebogang Polori (Mezzo Soprano): 2nd Prize Winner of R20 000, Msimelelo Mbali (Bass); and 3rd Prize Winner of R10 000, Segomotso Shupinyang, sponsored by Dr Nkwanyana. I am also extremely happy for Thando Zwane who won the Baroque Prize, sponsored by Umculo.

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“Special thanks to Hanna and Albie Schalkwayk for sponsoring the Art Song Lieder Prizes as Songmakers Guild along with Umculo and Barbara Segal which were won by 1st Prize – Segomotso Shupinyaneng R5 000; 2nd Prize – Lebogang Polori R3000; and 3rd Prize – Jason Atherton R2000.

Voices of South Africa Opera Singing Competition 2019: Msimelelo Mbali, Lebogang Polori, Segomotso Shupinyang, Thando Zwane
Voices of South Africa Opera Singing Competition 2019: Msimelelo Mbali, Lebogang Polori, Segomotso Shupinyang, Thando Zwane

“As Chair of the Jury, I also thank my panel, who were so much fun: Aviva Pelham, Pauline Malefane, Minette Pierce, Lize Thomas, Sipho Fubesi, Dr Sicelo Nkwanyana, Jeremy Silver, Hanna van Schalkwyk and Albie van Schalkwyk.”

“And the choirs brought so much to this and took this competition to another level. Sponsored by Diemersfontein Wines, David Sonnenberg and my friends Dr Sifiso Makhanya in memory of his mom (The Nonhlanhla Makhanya Memorial Prize) and Reggi Xaba (Ifele Zethu Shoes), 1st Prize went to Western Chorale – R10 000 Diemersfontein; 2nd Prize went to Joyful Harmonies, R5 000 (Dr Makhanya); 3rd Prize Simon Estes Alumni Choir R3 000 ( Dr Makhanya); 4th Prize UCT Choir for Africa R2 000 (Dr Makhanya). Audience Prize for Isitibili Simon Estes Alumni Choir – R5000, iFele Zethu Shoes. Best Conductors Prize – Monde Mdingi – R2 000, IFele Zethu Shoes. The Kamal Khan Prize in Appreciation for Renata Scotto for the best soloist from the choirs to soprano Busisiwe Ngejana R5000.”

“Special mention to Kamal Khan and Dominic Wheeler who coached and played for all the singers yesterday, along with Kobie van Rensburg for incredible work through the week coaching everyone.”

“Congratulations to them and all semifinalists and finalists. Just beautiful beautiful work. I am completely inspired by all of you. Bravi and thank you everyone who supported to make this happen. It really really would not have happened without your support. You have brought so much joy and hope to so many people.”

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