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PRESS: SA Singers on Operalia shortlist

Cape Town Opera


Five South African singers - Luvo Maranti, Thando Mjandana, Sakhiwe Mkosana, Siphokazi Molteno and Nombulelo Yende - have been selected to perform with 29 others in Placido Domingo’s Operalia, the world’s foremost opera competition, which will take place in Cape Town from 30 to 5 November 2023.

The competition is hosted by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera and Artscape and is generously sponsored by the City of Cape Town.

All singers have strong links to Cape Town – three have performed with the CPO, four with CTO and all studied at Opera UCT.  All have been establishing careers overseas with Ms Molteno and Ms Yende recently singing in the finals of the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

The competition was established 30 years ago by the legendary Placido Domingo, perhaps the planet’s most iconic opera singer alive, and is presented annually in the world’s cultural capitals in cooperation with Rolex.

“The organisers chose Cape Town for the 30th edition of the competition because the partnership, experience and professionalism of South Africa’s foremost cultural organizations offer the ideal platform for bringing the competition for the first time to African soil,” says Alvaro Domingo, the vice-president of Operalia.

For Alderman Geordin Hill-Lewis, mayor of the City of Cape Town, this is a superb vote of confidence in the city.

“Cape Town is proud to host this prestigious competition in Africa for the first time, affirming our city’s status as a culture capital. We look forward to welcoming visitors to one of the great cities of the world, renowned for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage,” he says.

All eyes will be on the competition which has established the careers of many opera singers such as South Africa’s Pretty Yende and Levi Sekgapane.  Winning the title helped catapult them to global stardom. 

The quarter finals will take place on the Artscape Opera House on 30 and 31 October 2023, with the semi-finals on 1 November 2023. In the final round on 5 November 2023, the top 10 or 12 contenders will compete in a gala concert accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic.

Maestro Domingo, who has also been conducting major orchestras around the world over the past two decades, will conduct part of the gala concert and will also act and non-voting chair of the panel of jury members from the foremost opera houses in the world, including Cape Town Opera’s artistic director, Magdalene Minnaar. The other conductor will be Kamal Khan, internationally recognized as a leading conductor with voice.

The final gala concert can be followed free of charge on Medici.TV, the international electronic platform for all the major classical music festivals and competitions.

The competition, with total prize money of more than R3 million, presents the perfect platform to promote Cape Town as a tourist and cultural destination. The hosts provide the orchestra, the venue, logistical support, and accommodation for the competitors, jurors and a small administrative team.

Apart from the City of Cape Town, other partners include Southern Sun as the accommodation partner and Rolo Motors Volvo, which is providing local transport to and from the Artscape Theatre Centre.

Booking will open this week: Tickets for the preliminary rounds on 30 and 31 October 2023 cost R300 each and the semi-finals on 1 November 2023 are R400, with a concession for all three of R500. Tickets for the gala concert on 5 November 2023 at 18:00 are R1500. Tickets will be available for purchase from Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695 and Computicket.



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