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Why top SA talent goes for a song


Why top SA talent goes for a song

SA has no shortage of opera talent — but many are forced by lack of opportunity at home to perform abroad

Levi Letsoko

SA has no shortage of opera talent. Think Mimi Coertse, Michelle Breedt, Pumeza Matshikiza, Elza van den Heever, Musa Nkuna and the late Deon van der Walt. Then there’s Pretty Yende, Golda Schultz, Sunnyboy Vincent Dladla ... the list goes on.

SA is also home to some world-class training facilities and resources. The University of Cape Town (UCT), for example, has a dedicated opera facility at the SA College of Music, which operates from the 638-seat Baxter Theatre. It offers a broad scope for music education, including training for vocals and instruments, and specific operatic training in conjunction with Cape Town Opera. Among its alumni are classical composer Robert Fokkens and opera stars Matshikiza, Yende, Schultz and Dladla.

The challenge for singers, however, is a lack of opportunity once they’ve graduated...

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