Established in 1999, Cape Town Opera is a Section 21 Non-Profit Company and Public Benefit Organisation, with a Level 1 BBBEE rating.


Cape Town Opera relies on donations, grants and contributions from a range of local donors to connect and work with its communities. These contributions allow CTO to provide the following initiatives free of charge to more than 2,200 beneficiaries:

YOUTH: The best vocal talent could come from anywhere – De Aar, Fish Hoek, Sea Point, Caledon or beyond. Young, talented signers need years of nurturing, education and access to arts opportunities. CTO’s local educational programmes, outreach services and local productions provide this. Youth from Vredenburg, Retreat, Khayelitsha and Nyanga are the focus of CTO’s flagship educational programme, Opera is my First Language. Its National Schools Tour, a three-week educational programme in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape, teaches 1,400 primary and high school learners as they prepare for the national schools choral eisteddfod.

AGED: CTO provides tickets and transport, on an as-needed basis, to opera performances for 480 Cape Peninsular Organisation for the Aged and Communicare residents throughout the year.

DISABILITY: CTO partners with Jazz Hands to provide sign language interpretation and audio description for hearing- and sight-impaired audiences at opera productions. In addition, Opera is my First Language caters to two special needs schools with music therapy classes, namely: Karitas School in Vredenburg and Lathi-Tha Primary in Khayelitsha.

GREEN ECONOMY: CTO contributes to tree planning with Green Pop, a local environmental NGO, to offset the carbon footprint of its international touring.


The creation of opera provides significant employment for singers, technicians, musicians, directors, designers, technicians, music teachers and administrators. Following is an overview of Cape Town communities and the remuneration paid to residents in various communities for 2016/2017 through Cape Town Opera programming:

  • Athlone                                 R375,780
  • Bellville                                 R357,948
  • Bonteheuwel/Langa          R360,923
  • Cape Town                           R1,666,925
  • Claremont                            R1,851,757
  • Crossroads                           R257,125
  • Delft                                      R135,456
  • Diepriver/Plumstead        R109,535
  • Fish Hoek                            R516,525
  • Goodwood                           R191,530
  • Gugulethu                            R1,552,078
  • Hout Bay                              R1,589,022
  • Khayelitsha                         R1,811,753
  • Kuilsriver                             R278,119
  • Melkbosstrand                   R213,740
  • Milnerton                            R2,769,119
  • Mitchells Plain                   R985,482
  • Monte Vista                        R273,193
  • Mowbray                             R1,488,830
  • Newlands                            R213,436
  • Nyanga                                R692,988
  • Observatory                        R403,701
  • Old Crossroads                  R253,080
  • Parow                                   R527,149
  • Pinelands                            R1,456,971
  • Rondebosch/Rosebank   R1,977,597
  • Stellenbosch                      R849,470
  • Wynberg                             R368,132


The work of Cape Town Opera generates business for independent contractors and a range of enterprises. To create opera, CTO builds scenery, props and costumes. It hosts artists from across the country and around the world, contracts local musicians, hires venues for rehearsals and employs coaches to train singers. The following figures reflect income generated for CTO partners in local business in 2016 and 2017:

  • Scenic manufacturing and construction material suppliers: R4.1-million
  • Costume manufacturing and fabric wholesalers: R2.9-million
  • Guesthouse accommodation: R1.8-million
  • Music coaches, choreographers, conductors, directors and artists: R2.8-million
  • Ground transportation: R620,000
  • Venue and equipment hire: R506,000

South African vocalists are exceptionally talented. To provide a sustainable livelihood for these artists, CTO provides access to world stages, while generating foreign direct investment into the local economy via international touring. As a result of tours to Sweden, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Ireland, Holland, Argentina, Dubai and Hong Kong, 215 jobs for South African artists were created and R36-million in investment was generated for South Africa over the 2016 and 2017 period.

Whether you discovered Cape Town Opera during one of our tours abroad, or are a South African who wants to support Africa’s premier opera company, the easiest way to show your appreciation for Cape Town Opera is to donate online via GivenGain to the Make-A-Difference Campaign.

This platform allows you to make a contribution of any amount.
Donate now:
Should you have any queries, please contact Dawn Kennedy

Make every opera a truly magical experience and join a special group of people who, through their unflagging support, keep opera thriving in Cape Town.
Patronage consists of four levels with escalating benefits:
Bronze R 5 000
Silver R 10 000
Gold R 15 000
Platinum R 30 000

Some of the privileges you will enjoy include:
• Complimentary tickets to South African performances
• Priority booking for all CTO performances
• Acknowledgement in all CTO programmes and online
• First-hand insight into the behind-the-scenes process of producing opera
• Invitation to patrons-only events and receptions

As a patron you ensure the sustainability of Cape Town Opera’s high artistic standards, the training of our young artists and the continuation of our outreach work.

“Supporting one of the finest operatic choruses is reward enough for patronage. However, it is a pleasure to contribute to CTO’s success in nurturing South Africa’s outstanding pool of musicians, thereby enabling them to further their careers here and abroad.”

Richard and Catherine Lomberg

“Becoming patrons of the opera has enriched our lives enormously.”

Laurie and Rita Chiappini

“We support Cape Town Opera for the sheer love and pleasure of music and the opportunity that CTO provides for advancement and training of the musical talent we have in the Western Province.”

Geoff and Rosemary Evans

To become a Patron of Cape Town Opera, please contact Melanie Daniels: or 021 410 9807

UK Friends of Cape Town Opera Trust
The UK Friends of Cape Town Opera Trust is a group of supporters who enjoys and support Cape Town Opera’s work at home and abroad. The trustees host an Annual Fundraising Concert in London in support of CTO.
For more information about the UK Friends of Cape Town Opera Trust, contact Melanie Daniels: or 021 410 9807

Make a bequest

A legacy gift is a generous gesture towards safeguarding the future of Southern Africa’s premier opera company. If opera has enriched your life, you may decide to share the love of opera with future generations by including CTO in your will.
Whether you have been inspired by our local operas, education and outreach work, or touring productions, your legacy will make an indelible mark on whichever area of the company you decide to support, ensuring that you will be remembered alongside the work that you love.
If you leave a bequest, Cape Town Opera will ensure that you are acknowledged appropriately.
To discuss this matter in confidence, please contact Melanie Daniels: or 021 410 9807. Cape Town Opera promises to treat all correspondence and discussions with the utmost confidence. Any information you give does not involve you in any binding agreement.