Goitsemang Lehobye – SOPRANO – Résumé
Goitsemang was born in Ga-Rankuwa and loved singing from as early as she can remember. After finishing her school career, she could not pursue her studies due to a lack of funds and she joined The Black Tie Ensemble’s “Incubator” Scheme in February 2005. Goitsemang performed with The Black Tie Opera Chorus, taking part in productions of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Pasquale Puccini’s Tosca and Madama Butterfly and Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana.
Goitsemang soon attracted attention for solo work and her achievements include the role of Micaëla, in Tshwane University of Technology’s production of Bizet’s Carmen, and the DVD recording of Bravo Mozart and Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow.
In the beginning of 2011 Goitsemang got the opportunity to further her studies at the South African College of Music (SACM) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). In May 2011 she sang the role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème in the Baxter Theatre
Highlights of her career include the Johan Botha Gala Concert at the Montecasino Theatre in Johannesburg presented by Cape Town Opera and the CPO’s Neil Schicoff Opera Gala. Most recently she took a leading role in CTO’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She was also winner of the 2013 Schock Sining Competition. She currently receives vocal training from Hanna van Niekerk.
Read more: “Why Verdi’s My Man!” – an interview with Wilhem Snyman (Cape Times)
Khanyiso Gwenxane – TENOR
Khanyiso Gwenxane is a 25 year old Tenor who started singing at an early age of 6 years in a school choir, and since then he has never looked back in this art form. He has sung in numerous school competitions and has obtained first position nationally. In 2007 he joined the Isango Portabello Ensemble, touring London’s West End with a production of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” which won the London Theater Critic’s Olivier Award. He then went on to study at the Tshwane University of Technology where he obtained his National Diploma and B-tech degree in Vocal Art Performance (opera) under the vocal guidance of Mr Pierre du Toit.
His roles include that of The First Priest in The Magic Flute under the directorship of Marcus Desando and Don Ottavio from Don Giovanni, under the directorship of Pierre du Toit. His concert repertoire includes The Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mendelsohn’s Die Lobgesang and the Beethoven Choral Symphony.
Khanyiso is now currently furthering his studies at the SACM at UCT doing his second year Post Graduate Diploma in Opera under the vocal guidance of Ms Hanna Van Niekerk. He sang the lead tenor role in this year’s CTO production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Louise Howlett – Soprano
Louise Howlett, originally from England, studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Margaret Cable where she featured in a number of competitions and masterclasses. As a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, Louise toured to the Bergen Festival and Edinburgh Main and Fringe Festivals, as well as performing in the award winning production of The Ragged Child at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London. She performed in television productions of both The Ragged Child and the opera of The Tailor of Gloucester.
Louise came to South Africa in 1993 to work as Organiser for the National Chamber Orchestra in the North West Province and soon decided to make South Africa her home. She sang on many occasions with the NCO including a number of corporate functions in Sun City and Johannesburg. She also performed in a number of Oratoria including the Nelson Mass by Haydn, The Messiah by Handel, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and was involved in choral training workshops and master classes.
In March 1999 she moved to Cape Town where she is now based. Her Cape Town debut took place with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at their Kirstenbosch Millennium Concert, but her love of jazz and the musicals led her to create her own unique combination of classical, broadway and jazz “Across the Styles” singing projects which she regularly performs with pianist Albert Combrink. Performances include such varied events as the Kirstenbosch Classical Chamber Music Series and Big Blues Festival with sold out shows at the Baxter Theatre and the Greyton Rose Festival.
Future plans include further performances at the Baxter Theatre and for the Endler Concert Series. They have also released their first CD “Night Sessions”, generously filled with timeless gems, recorded and produced by Duncan Mackay at Down South Recording.
A keen promoter of classical music in Cape Town, Louise is the General Manager of the Cape Town Concert Series, and is a regular presenter on Fine Music Radio. Her programme “For the Love of Opera” features all the latest news and reviews of opera around the world today.
Ifriky Tadadjeu Sokeng – Tenor
Ifriky Tadadjeu Sokeng started his music journey at the age of 15 as a tenor in a church choir in Yaounde, Cameroon. Learning from books, music directors, soloists, composers, and from workshops, it took him 4 years to become a choral conductor and tenor soloist and a composer. His achievements include various prizes in his homeland as performer, coach and composer. Ifriky is in the final year of his doctorate in Satellite Systems Engineering at CPUT. He is part of the F’SATI Space program that designed and launched Africa’s 1st nano-satellite on November 21st 2013, and is building expertise in the area of space radiation. He was a semi-finalist as a participant and finalist and winner as assistant coordinator for the Space Mission Idea Contest organized by UNISEC in Japan. As student representative for the Southern Africa Region at the University Space Engineering Consortium, he was invited to participate at the 5th nano-satellite symposium and present at the 1st UNISEC-Global meeting from the 20-24 November 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. He is building his music and academic careers based on innovative projects including his patent-pending doctoral work and the CD “For The Love of Music” (in collaboration with Albert Combrink, Ivan Meredith, Janine Pick and Riaan Steyn). He performs regularly in Cape Town at corporate functions.
Riaan Hunter – Baritone
Riaan started his studies at the SA College of Music in 2004. After finishing his first year he went into the commercial music industry where he has been very successful for the last seven years. His debut album Net Hier By Jou reached 19th place on Musica’s Top 20 African Sales. Recently Riaan recorded a tribute to “Ge Korsten” with Jannie Moolman that is a great hit all over South Africa.
He starred in his first musical in 2006 at the age of 20, going on to star in The King and I, The Gondoliers and HMS Pinafore for the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society. His performance in The Gondoliers earned him a special prize at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in England. He was also nominated for a Cape Amateur Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his leading role in HMS Pinafore in 2009.
Riaan returned to the Opera school last year to finish his studies and is currently studying with Prof. Virginia Davids. He sang the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and tDapertutto in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. Riaan was the winner of the Schock Singing Ccompetition in 2012. His most recent success was starring in the title role of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”
Albert Combrink (Piano * Musical Director) CV:
Albert Combrink performs as pianist and accompanist in classical and contemporary music. He recently returned from touring South-East Asia (Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia) where he performed solo concerts and held masterclasses during the Arts Festivals of Singapore and Bali. Albert completed his MMUS at Natal University and also holds three UNISA Licentiates in Solo Performance, Piano Accompaniment and Piano Teaching (Cum Laude). He made his concerto debut with the Natal Philharmonic at the age of 18.
He was finalist in the National ATKV Music Competition. Other prizes include the UND Performer’s Prize, UND Composer’s Competition, the Young Natal Chamber Music Competition, and the Durban Youth Concerto Festival. He received Master Classes from amongst others, Graham Johnson, Anton Nel, Martini Tirimo, Prof Bernd Goetzke. His recordings include Hindemith’s Piano Concerto Four Temperaments with the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under David Tidboald, through radio and television broadcasts (including BBC World), works by Hofmeyr and Schnittke with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and was reviewed in the international Gramophone Magazine.
He was repetiteur for the UCT Opera School as well as Cape Town Opera. He was vocal coach for the Portabello company’s Magic Flute which sold out in London’s West End and won the prestigious London Critic’s Olivier Theatre Award. With this company he had the chance to work with BBC’s “The Face of Classical Music”, Charles Hazelwood, and Sir Simon Rattle.
As member of the Cape Town Tango Ensemble he has performed at all the major festivals in the country, with performers and directors such as Mark Hoeben, Ina Wichterich and Marthinus Basson. His work with the CT Tango Ensemble includes two CD’s, El Tango En Africa and Tango Club and has been used on television and in film.
He also co-wrote 3 Arts & Culture Textbooks and Teachers’ Guides for Maskew Miller Longman publications, which have sold more than 100 000 copies.
As concert organiser and accompanist he has worked with a number of South African and international singers, including Prof. Virginia Davids, Hans van Heerden and Virgina Oosthuizen, to name only a few. Highlights with international artists include a concert tour with American soprano Judith Kellock of American and South African Contemporary Art Song. He was also repetiteur for British superstar Lesley Garret on her tour to South Africa and appeared on Top Billing accompanying Welsh Superstar Katherine Jenkins.
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