Opera UCT’s Season launch and announcement of a world premiere on the diary for 2024

Performers from Opera UCT

Performers from Opera UCT

Published Mar 1, 2024


Opera UCT is all set to continue South Africa’s oldest opera performing and training institution’s reputation as the harbour and source for some of the most respected and successful operatic performers in the world today.

Opera UCT’s director, pianist and conductor, Professor Jeremy Silver explains how the re-branding and re-launching of the school’s professional-level performance company as a production house in 2023 is reshaping their future.

Professor Silver remarked “As an integral part of Humanities at UCT, our training programme has grown each year to respond to ever-evolving trends in the international operatic world. Our activities provide our young singers the experience with which they can confidently stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their international counterparts when they finally venture forth after their years with us.

“Our activities also provide Cape Town’s arts scene with world-class operatic performances of which we can all be proud, and I am delighted that Opera UCT’s international status has ensured that this year, we have been chosen as the production partner for some important and seminal works, which we look forward to sharing with audiences of all ages.”

Professor Jeremy Silver

Opera UCT’s proposed calendar will appeal to established opera lovers and those still exploring the genre, with a programme that is the perfect musical and lyrical antidote to much of life’s everyday stresses. Pure escapism.

World-Class and World-First

Aside from exceptional performances, last night’s concert also provided the platform for a series of exciting announcements including the news that Opera UCT has been selected to stage the world premiere of an important and hitherto lost opera, Donizetti's Dalinda, a production that will be led by Italian director, William Costabile Cisco, and costume design by Letiticia Parvoleta Ivanova. This will take place in early September.

Silver says: “This is a great honour for Opera UCT and South Africa and is also an exceptional opportunity for our young singers, as the eyes of the arts world will be upon us when we stage this production in September, which is the cornerstone of our 2024 season.”

On the cards for November, there will be a fully staged production under the inspiring creative direction of a conductor and director from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as too a new Distinguished Alumni Recital Series that will take place during the season ahead.

In addition to the core academic programme that has ensured graduates are welcomed the world over, Opera UCT will host a series of masterclasses, competitions, and international residencies, which contribute to the school and production house’s international standing and success.

The 2024 diary also includes the third annual Aviva Pelham Operetta Competition and the FMR Bursary Award Classical Instrumental and Vocal Finals, a competition that celebrates the very best of classical, jazz, and African music thanks to the Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation.

Carmen Traut, Onesimo Siyothula, Themba Mdlalose, Molly Dzangare, Nica Reinke, Ellen Pretorius, Lereko Motele

Going places

The K T Wong Foundation has also established a new bursary programme for 2024, which assists aspiring graduate artists as they establish their professional careers. The first recipient of this generous bursary is Opera UCT tenor, Luvo Maranti, who was also a finalist in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition held in Cape Town in 2023.

Also, and yet more exciting news, is the announcement that UCT student soprano Molly Dzangare, has been awarded an Eva Kleinitz Opera Europa Scholarship, having been selected from more than 500 global applicants.

Three book launches, a further new addition to the line-up, are also planned for 2024, (see below for details), and in April, following a packed March programme that includes several free concerts, Opera UCT will stage a large-scale performance complete with the UCT Symphony Orchestra, of a concert entitled, 'The Sound of Freedom'.

Opera UCT’s staging of productions is not only an opportunity for audiences to lose themselves in the musical mastery of storytelling, but also a mechanism to generate funds. These monies go towards ensuring students get valuable performance experience and help to bring international masters in opera and stage to South Africa to share their expertise with the school.

Donations and support can be channelled through the Opera Endowment Fund.

For more information as to what to earmark for the diary, please see: humanities.uct.ac.za/college-music/concert-schedule

Tickets for all evening concerts are available via Webtickets.