As Africa’s premier opera company and South Africa’s largest permanent non-profit performing arts organisation, CTO provides permanent employment to young singers, opera practitioners, instructors and administrators. In addition, annually the company issues an average of 200 ad hoc contracts to artists ranging from choreographers, musicians, directors, conductors, designers and technicians.
Alongside the classics, CTO fosters the expression of a national identity through the creation and performance of new SA works such as Mandela Trilogy and Tsotsi, The Musical, based on Athol Fugard’s novel. CTO’s calendar offers an exciting repertoire of opera, operetta and musicals.
The company maintains an energetic touring schedule that includes Porgy and Bess, African Angels, Mandela Trilogy, African Prophetess and Showboat. In this way, the CTO serves as a vibrant cultural ambassador showcasing South Africa’s unique singing talent to the rest of the world.
The organisation provides unmatched skills development and hands on training to young artists from across the country. CTO’s Youth Development and Education department provides valuable musical training, free of charge, to more than 2 000 learners in rural and township communities each year.
The Cape Town Opera Young Artist Training Programme is a unique, two year training programme which gives graduate singers, with soloist potential, the opportunity to consolidate and refine their technique and stage skills before launching professional careers.
The CTO Young Artists is the only comprehensive advanced training curriculum of its kind for young graduate singers in South Africa.
Cape Town Opera employs 6 Young Artists. The main objective of the Young Artist programme is to strengthen the vocal and stage skills of promising young soloists and prepare them for a demanding professional career. The programme also offers skills development training in formal tuition settings, as well as experiential learning in rehearsal rooms and on stage with other performers. In addition to skills development, the programme offers personal mentorship and expert artistic guidance to members during this crucial intermittent phase of their careers. Some Young Artists choose to concurrently pursue their postgraduate studies at the UCT Opera School.
Currently, the six studio members, selected through a national audition process are:
Brittany Smith, Cecilia Rangwanasha, Frances du Plessis, Lunga Hallam, Martin Mkhize, Nkululeko Masuku.
Winners of the 2013 International Opera Awards ‘Chorus of the Year’, this group quickly emerged as one of the most compelling and varied vocal ensembles in the world. Under the tutelage of Chorus Master Marvin Kernelle, the Cape Town Opera Chorus performs an extensive repertoire in various genres from opera and traditional hymns to jazz and spirituals.
The chorus maintains a busy schedule, having performed in Holland, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, The Netherlands, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, the UK and Argentina. They’re known for their versatility, powerful performance and vibrant singing.
“Cape Town Opera’s chorus is quite magnificent. The vibrancy and quality of the choral singing is inspiring throughout.” – Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, UK
“Cape Town Opera’s Chorus was the best I have encountered – better than in France, Italy, Israel and New York.” – William Kentridge
“The South African voice is unique, rich with colour and strength and it represents this country’s best qualities. Cape Town Opera nurtures that voice, providing opportunities for a wealth of talent. Cape Town Opera gives to audiences – both at home and abroad – the opportunity to experience that wonderful South African sound, what a gift!” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu