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A Christmas Concert

Dec 2nd 2016 @ 8:00 pm

Christmas Concert Gauteng Opera


The annual Christmas Concert presented by Gauteng Opera has become a tradition at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg. This year Gauteng Opera will present only one concert on 02 December and will once again bring the Christmas spirit to Gauteng audiences. This concert is proudly funded by the NLC (National Lotteries Commission) and in partnership with RSG (Radio Sonder Grense) with support by Creative Feel. It will highlight the beautiful solo voices of Gauteng Opera with the Gauteng Opera Chorus and the Gauteng Opera Orchestra conducted by Schalk van der Merwe.


This special concert for the whole family will awaken the Christmas spirit of peace and harmony in all. As in past year’s tradition, Gauteng Opera will once again donate all collected presents to a children’s’ home – this year we decided to donate it to the Orlando Children’s Home in Soweto. To this end, Gauteng Opera kindly requests all patrons attending the Christmas Concert to bring along an unwrapped gift for children from the age of new-born to 18, between the value of R100.00 and R150.00.


Come and experience the stirring melodies of the Festive Season!


Date: Friday 02 December 2016

Time: 20:00

Venue: Linder Auditorium, 27 St. Andrews Road, Parktown – Jhb

Prices: A-block: R150, B-block: R120, C-block: R100

Discounts: Special discounts of 10% are available for block bookings of ten


People and more, pensioners, scholars and students.
Bookings are also open for corporate groups – perfect for year-end


Book at Computicket outlets or phone (011) 340 8000 or online at


Direct link:


About Gauteng Opera

With the slogan “Opera for Everyone”, Gauteng Opera aims to expose opera to varied audiences from different generations and communities. Driven by excellence in vocal performance and theatre, Gauteng Opera prides itself in being one of the foremost nurturers of experts and proponents for quality vocal performance and theatre practitioners.


About funding supporter, The National Lotteries Commission (NLC)

The NLC relies on funds from the proceeds of the National Lottery, guided by The Lotteries Act on the way in which NLC funding may be allocated. The NLC wants the grants to make a difference to lives of all South Africans, especially those more vulnerable and to improve the sustainability of the beneficiary organisations. Available funds are distributed to registered and qualifying non-profit organisations in the fields of charities; arts, culture and national heritage; and sport and recreation. By placing its emphasis on areas of greatest need and potential, the NLC contributes to South Africa’s development.


About the Orlando Children’s Home

Orlando Children’s Home was established in 1940 by the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society. It caters for children who have been abandoned by their parents. In 1977 the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society withdrew its support due to lack of funds. The community of Soweto took it over and prevented it from closing down. Presently the Home looks after 60 Children of ages ranging from a 3 month old baby to an eldest girl of 20 years. Orlando Children’s Home offers both curative and preventive services to deal with problems of abandonment, neglect and abuse of children.
Children who get lost or are affected by crises in their families / communities also receive care and assistance from Orlando Children’s Home.


About Radio Sonder Grense (RSG)


RSG is a public broadcasting radio station with a natioinal footprint and can also be heard overseas via internet streaming ( One of the main objectives of the station is to promote the arts. Our flagship program in this regard is DIS OPERA (Sunday night at 21:10), which is hosted by well known music expert, Wouter de Wet. Besides this very popular program, the station also do broadcasts (live and recorded) of music concerts such as those of Gauteng Opera (on Christmas eve), Comart (on Christmas Day) and a recital of Michelle Breedt (to be broadcasted during the on air arts festival of RSG – watch press for detail).


SCHALK VAN DER MERWESchalk J. van der Merwe started his undergraduate music studies in 2011 at the University of Pretoria, majoring in orchestral conducting under the Dutch conductor M° Gerben Grooten. Besides orchestral conducting his BMus studies also included violin, voice, composition, theory and choral conducting. He is currently busy with his MMus (Performing Arts) at the University of Pretoria.


Schalk has been active as conductor since 2011 and currently holds the position of associate conductor at the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Sempre Opera Company, principal conductor of the Armonia Theatre Chorus and guest conductor of the Composer’s National Collegium. In 2014/15 he served as the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra’s Interim conductor. Schalk has conducted orchestras such as the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic and the South African National Youth Orchestra in concert.


At the age of 23 he conducted his first full opera, Mozart’s Magic Flute, of which six successful performances were given. Other operas conducted over the past year include Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Bastien und Bastienne, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus, Eine Nacht in Venedig, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte and Il barbiere di Siviglia.


In October 2016 he travelled to Austria where he acted as M° Gérard Korsten’s conducting assistant for the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra leading rehearsals with the world class orchestra and receiving mentoring from the maestro. Over the past two years he has received master classes from Russian conductors M° Evgeny Bushkov and M° Daniel Raiskin at the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, M°James Ross from the Julliard School in New York, German conductor M° Jan Moritz Onken at the Odion School of Music, Matheu Kieswetter from the UK and Victor Yampolsky from the Bienen School of Music in the USA.


Schalk wishes to complete his Master of Music Degree in orchestral conducting in 2016 and hopes to develop and promote orchestral and choral music in South Africa after traveling abroad to gain experience and knowledge as conductor and musician. His vision is to unite the orchestras in different communities, with the ultimate goal of raising the standard of classical music in South Africa and enriching people’s lives through this vision. In 2016 he launched his own production company; Mustro Productions which assembles orchestras and ensembles, stages operas and other classical music concerts in order to provide job opportunities for young South African musicians.




phenyePhenye Modiane was born and bred in Ga-Rankuwa. He started singing at an early age, in school choirs, church choir and community choirs. He matriculated at Modiri high school in 2002. In 2002, he represented North West Province at the Tirisano School Choir Eisteddfod (now called SASCE) as a solo tenor, under the guidance of the late Mrs J.C Motshwane. In 2003, he enrolled at Tshwane University of Technology under the guidance of Pierre du Toit.


There he sang in various choruses including school choruses, Salon Music and Opera Africa choruses. And also did the roles of Conte Ivrea in Un Giorno di Regno and Gherrardo in Gianni Schicchi, both school productions. He completed his Btech in Vocal Art in 2006. In 2011, he sang the role of El Ramendado in the Opera Africa production of Carmen. In March 2012, he sang the role of Guard in the newly composed opera of Ziyankomo by Mr Phelelani Mnomiya. He sang as a soloist in the BTE VO1SS production of Kyk hier staan ‘n nuwe mens and the Verdi Gala. Currently he is a member of Forté and he is also busy with his BMus Hons through Universty of Pretoria.

kagisoKagiso Boroko hails from Hammanskraal and already at school, he showed interest in choral music, joining his school choir in 2003. During this year he also joined the group ‘Sweet Voice Masters’ under the leadership of Bhekezizwe Nhlapo.


As a member of the ‘Sweet Voice Masters’ he realized that he loves performing and as a member of this group he performed and participated in the various events, competitions and performances, to name a few: The Unisa Music Foundation Competition, the birthday celebration of Mr Bill Venter, the Altron Awards in 2007 at the Sun City Palace at the Yamaha young talent Rocks Competition and at the Caltivisia Festival. Kagiso successfully auditioned in 2010 for The Black Tie Ensemble’s Incubator Scheme.


During the next three years he participated as a member of the chorus, part of the Scheme’s training curriculum, in the BTE Opera Vignette production of CW Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice in 2010. He was also a member in BTE’s Annual Christmas Concerts for 2010 and 2011. During 2011 he sang the role of the ‘Page’ in BTE’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian-Carlo Menotti. Later that year he was part of the Vignette opera production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia de Lammermoor and during September, Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and sang the role of Pinellino in the BTE production of Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini.


During 2012 he participated in the following productions for BTE VO1SS: Forté: Power of the Voice; Verdi Opera Gala; A Spring Gala; One Voice: An African Celebration; A Christmas Concert and Carols by Candlelight. Kagiso passed his final assessment and is currently a member of Forté. He receives vocal coaching from Marcus Desando.

Solly MotaungSolly Motaung is a bass-baritone singer who has performed the role of Doctor Grenvil in la Traviata with Gauteng Opera. Born in Hammanskraal/Stinkwater near Pretoria, he started singing from a young age at school. Because of his enthusiasm in this genre of music he received solo parts in choirs during competitions.


During matric he auditioned for the Incubator scheme of The Black Tie Ensemble and started his studies in 2012, with Eric Muller as his voice teacher. During his three years of study, Solly was part of the opera chorus in many Black Tie productions and concerts and joined the company on school tours, directed by Marcus Desando. A highlight of 2014 was being part of Gauteng Opera’s production of Cosi fan tutte.


Solly has also played the role of Figaro in the opera Le nozze di Figaro. Although not a student anymore, he still works vocally with Eric Muller and tries to perform as much as possible. Recently, he was part of an elite ensemble for Gauteng Opera’s Forté in Concert at the Linder Auditorium last year. He is now part of the company as junior soloist.

Neville SmithName: Neville SmithVoice type: Baritone


A graduate at the Tshwane University of Technology in B-tech Vocal art, where he was awarded the ED Morrison trophy as student of the year In 2003. He took part as a chorus member in productions such as La finta Giardigniera, Amelia al Ballo, Die fledermaus, Lucia di Lammermoor, Der Zigeuner Baron, Aida, La traviata, Rigoletto, I capuletti e Montecci and Princess Magogo.


He also sang in the National finals of the Opera Queensland Young artist programme scholarship competition in 2003 and 2004. Performed the role of The Zar in a TUT production of Lorzing’s Zar und Zimmermann in 2003. In 2004, he performed in another TUT production of Verdi’s Un giorno di regno taking the role of Baron di Kelbar and the role of Corporal in Salon Music’s production of La fille di Regiment.


In 2005 performed the lead role of Garrido in Massenet’s La Navarraise. In the same year, performed the title role in Salon Music’s production of Don Pasquale. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist in the ICV (international Vocal Competition) in the Netherlands where he got an opportunity to have master classes with the American soprano Roberta Alexander and the former Artistic director of Vienna State opera house, Ioan Hollander.

Doreen Tibana

Tibana Doreen Agnes born in Mpumalanga and grew up in Ekangala, Bronkhorstspruit, is a graduate at the Tshwane University of Technology’s department of Performing Arts Technology. The love of music and singing started in 2006 in which she was in the primary school choir and in high school she got a bit of recognition when she was recruited to sing for a choir called Mpumalanga Choral Artists in 2008.


She then started singing lessons in 2014 with Sannie Streicher in Pretoria and became part of a choir called Bagale chorus the same year. One of the biggest opportunities was being part of the Gauteng Opera chorus in 2015. She is currently a trainee in the Gauteng Opera academy.

Neville Smith

Khayakazi Madlala is a young soprano born and bred in the Eastern Cape who is pursuing a career in the arts (music). She started singing when she was in her 7th grade at Mariazell high school under the baton of Mr. S.Gecelo. She participated in the school competition SASCE until she passed her matric.


In 2015 Khayakazi was given a chance to be part of Gauteng Opera in various productions and concerts including La Traviata in concert, Cula Mzansi and Double Bill just to mention a few. She is currently a trainee at the Gauteng Opera Academy.

Neville Smith
Lindo Maso was born on March 6th 1995 in Cape-Town at a well- known township called Nyanga. His passion for singing started in 2008 upon joining a Sunday school choir and he had never looked back since then. Between the years 2011 and 2012 he participated as one of the Choristers in a local choir at the NCF (National Choir Festival) where he discovered his true Love for opera.


While attending his Matric in Cape Town (2012), Lindo began taking Private Lessons with Prof Sidwill Hartmann. In January 2015 Lindo moved to Johannesburg where he began working with the CEO of Gauteng Opera, Marcus Desando, as his vocal coach. At Gauteng opera Lindo participated as an ad-hoc chorus member in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and in 3 new South African operas, rendered under the company’s banner Cula Mzansi.


Lindo is a Chorister at The Johannesburg Bach Choir, and is a full time trainee of Gauteng Opera Academy (2016) under the Guidance of Marcus Desando.





Dec 2nd 2016
8:00 pm
Event Category:


Gauteng Opera


Linder Auditorium