On the evening of the finals of the 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, the engaged and enthusiastic audience of 1500 got to have their say when they cast their vote for Noluvuyiso Mpofu, soprano, who won the audience prize. Affirming the audience’s ability to spot talent, Noluvuyiso was awarded 2nd prize of €3,500
Noluvuyiso continues a long line of South African Belvedere prize winners, with tenor Levy Sekgapane (1st prize in 2015), Siyabulela Ntlale (2nd prize in 2014) and Pretty Yende (1st prize in 2009). Singers are evaluated for their employability and the Belvedere is a launching pad for a successful international career.
It was a great evening for the Americans, with 1st prize going to Nicholas Brownlee, bass-Baritone, USA and 3rd prize to Raehann Bryce-Davis, Mezze-Soprano, USA.
Although Mandla Mndbele did not make it through to the finals he was awarded an engagement to Gauteng Opera.
As Matthew Wild, Cape Town Opera’s Artistic Director, who served on the jury, says “The results affirm once again the extraordinary level of talent of South African singers and the superb quality of opera that audiences are privileged to enjoy on Cape Town stages.”
Immediately following the competition, to honour their achievements, Matthew invited Noluvuyiso Mpofu and Lukhanyo Moyake to take leading roles in Verdi’s Rigoletto, programed for early in Cape Town Opera’s 2017 season. Noluvuyiso will debut as Gilda and Lukhanyo as the Duke of Mantua.