Noluvuyiso Mpofu (23) was born in Port Elizabeth and became interested in opera while at high school. Graduating with a PGDiploma in 2013, she is entering her 2nd year as postgraduate student at UCT’s South African College of Music, studying with Patrick Tikolo and Kamal Khan. Noluvuyiso participated as a chorus member in the UCT/Cape Town Opera collaborations L’elisir d’amore,Cunning Little Vixen, Le nozze di Figaro, Ilviaggio a Reims, La bohème and Die Entführung aus dem Serail. She participated in Opera Kaleidoscope as Leila in The Pearl Fishers, Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Woglinde in scenes from Das Rheingold. She appeared as soloist in the ArtsCape Youth Concerto Festival, in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, in Haydn’s Nelson Mass as well as in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the CPO. In 2013 she sang Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and in 2014 Madame Corese in Il viaggio a Reims. She was a soloist in the Bryn Terfel Concert in June 2014 and took the role of Lady with a Hand Mirror in Postcard from Morocco at the Artscape. She has been awarded many prizes over the years: 2nd place Soprano Solo at the SA School Choral Eistedfodd, the Ruth Ormond Prize, 1st prize Soprano soloist at the SA Tertiary Institution Choral Eistedfodd, prizes at the Schock Foundation Prize for Singing Final Concerts in 2013 and 2014, 3rd Prize the Musiqanto Finals 2013 and 2nd Prize at the Amazwi Omzantsi Music competition in 2013.
Bongiwe Nakani was born in Cape at own and grew up in the township of Khayelitsha. She started singing at the age of seven. Her career in music blossomed at high school where her solo career began. She was national champion at the Tirisano Eisteddfod Choral Competition from 2004 -2007 and was awarded the prize for the best upcoming mezzo-soprano. She enrolled at the South African College of Music at UCT in 2009 and has completed her fourth year of Performer’s Diploma in Opera studying with Kamal Kahn and Patrick Tikola. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, she won 2nd prize at the Schock Foundation Singing Competition. In 2013 she was also a finalist at the ATKV Musiqanto Singing Competition. She was invited to attend the Glimmerlgass Young Artists Program in America, performing in Kurt Weil’s Lost in the Stars. Whilst in the States she had the honour of singing at the United Nations on Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Among many operatic roles while at UCT, she also performed in the Tales of Hoffman in 2013 at Artscape. Also in 2013, she won 2nd prize and the ‘audience’ prize in Njabulo Madlala’s new Singing Competition. In 2013 she sang the role of Rosina in the Il Barbieri di Siviglia at Artscape. In 2014 she sang Marchesa Malibea in UCT’s Il Viaggio a Reims.
Johannes Slabbert (22) recently graduated from the University of Cape Town Opera School under the guidance of George Stevens and Prof. Kamal Khan. Johannes was recently seen in the Johann Strauss New Year’s concert in Helsinki, Finland. Other roles in Johannes’ repertoire include Schaunard in Puccini’s “La Boheme”, Guiglielmo in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte”, Hermann in Offenbach’s “The tales of Hoffmann“, Masetto, Leporello and Don Giovanni in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni“, Jesus in Bach’s “Johannes-passion“, Figaro in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia“, Marquis de la Force in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites“, Lord Sydney in Rossini’s” Il Viaggio a Reims” and the bass solos in Mozart’s “Requiem” and Puccini’s “Messa di Gloria“. Academically Johannes became part of the Elizabeth Clough MusicTrust in 2012. He was granted the Angelo Gobbato Opera Bursary for post graduate studies at the UCT opera school in 2014. He won 1st place in the 2014 ATKV national singing competition accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic orchestra and in November 2014, he was once again amongst the winners of the Schock Foundation Prize for Singing.
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 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.
Listen to Khanyiso Gwenxane HERE.
Read more about Khanyiso Gwenxane HERE.
Opera in a Convent Garden: Singers Featured in the past
Opera in a Convent Garden History: Concert
2004 : 1st February
11 Performers: Teresa de Wit, Lana English, Ntsikelelo Mali, Pumeza Matshikiza, Matthew Overmeyer, Michelle Saldanha, The CapeTown Three Tenors – Nicola Cencherle, Frank Sawyer, Ronald Theys, Lisa Garson, Marc Murray.
2005 : 6th February
8 Performers: Angela Kerrison, Teresa de Wit, Michelle Saldanha, The Cape Town Three Tenors – Ronnie Theys, Frank Sawyer, Nicola Cencherle, Lisa Garson, Karein Leitner, Duccio Lombardi.
2006 : 5th February
8 Performers: Quanita Adams, Beverley Chiat, Given Nkosi, Brad Liebl, Sophie Harmsen, The Michaelis Players – Lisa Garson, Lucia di Blasio Scott, Barbara Kennedy.
2007 : 4th February
3+ Performers: Zanne Stapelberg, Dewald von Solms, Lisa Garson.
Springfield Chamber Choir
2008 : 3rd February
Belle Voci – Violina Anguelov, Beverley Chiat, Nicola Cencherle
The Cape Town Tango Ensemble _ Stanislav Anguelov, Albert Combrink, Jacek Domagala, Charles Lazar
Springfield Chamber Choir
2009 : 1st February
8+ Performers – Pretty Yende,Given Nkosi, Thato Machona, Victoria Stevens,
Albert Combrink, Elina Koytcheva, Jane Theron, Gerhard de Jager.
Springfield chamber Choir.
2010 : 7th February
21+ Performers – Shirley Sutherland, Albert Combrink, Albert Horne, Cape Town Opera Voice of the Nation.
2011 : 6th February
5 Performers – Zanne Stapelberg, Violina Anguelov, Aubrey Lodewyk, Albert Combrink, Jane Theron.
2012 : 5th February
9 Performers – Aviva Pelham, Violina Anguelov, Arline Jaftha, Nonhlahla Yende, Amos Nomnabo,Owen Metsileng, Lukhanyo Moyake, Jose Dias, Jane Theron.
2013 3rd February
6 Performers – Michael Mol, Hlengiwe Makwanazi, Louise Howlett, Thembinkosi Mgetyengana, Owen Metsileng, Albert Combrink + 8 members of the U. of Stellenbosch Camerata: Marianne and Peter Martens.
2014 2nd February
– U of Stellenbosch Camerata (Peter Martens + 7), Albert Combrink, Goitsemang Lehobye, Louise Howlett, Ifriki Tadadjeu, Khanyiso Gwenxane, Riaan Hunter.
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