The evening will be a celebration of the Operatic voice through a selection of some of the most loved Opera Arias and Ensembles, performed by Gauteng Opera Soloists and guest Artists. The audience will also be treated to a guest appearance by the Joburg Ballet with the second half of the evening will be a celebration of Africa and its Heritage that took its inspiration from the wonderful Speech by former President Thabo Mbeki “I am an African”.
With Opera Classics the audience can expect well known opera classics that will be memorable from the Lakmé duet made famous by the British airways add and the famous aria from the Opera Norma “Casta Diva” that is known as one of Maria Callas’ favourite arias to sing. we also will be offering selection from operas like Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Boheme and Donizetti’s La fille du regiment with the aria with 9 top C’s. the Joburg Ballet will be joining Gauteng Opera in You raise me up and In trutina from the famous Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
The second half will be a celebration of our heritage as Africans and South Africans with a programme that is inspired by a speech made by our former president Thabo Mbeki “I am an Africa” during the adoption of the South African constitution. this programme will be a mixture of singing, poetry and dancing with music like African dream made famous by Vicki Sampson, Pata pata by our own African goddess Mama Africa Miriam Makeba, Circle of life from Lion King and weeping, all these songs are from Africa and inspired by Africans
Originally from Pretoria Marcus (a Naledi awards nominee for best Actor in a Musical) started his Career with PACT in 1989 as a singer and in 1994 moved to Cape Town Opera (CAPAB) where his career as a director and principal singer started. As a singer Marcus sang in over 75 Operas, Musical theatre productions and Concerts in South Africa and abroad.
He travelled the world Singing and directing with New York Harlem Productions, Really Useful Company, Pieter Toerien Productions and Cape Town Opera. Marcus has had the honour of being invited by University of Stellenbosch, Tshwane University of Technology, UCT: college of music and UKZN OCSA (opera school) as a guest lecturer where he taught stage craft and also directed productions.
His production of Rigoletto was recorded and televised by SABC 2.Marcus has already directed over 40 productions Opera ranging from Opera to Concerts; he was invited by the Windhoek Symphony Orchestra and the Free State Symphony Orchestra in 2012 to sing in Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven Symphony no9 respectively.
Mr Desando is currently CEO for Gauteng Opera(formerly Black Tie Ensemble), reading for his Master’s degree in Business science (MSc) with da Vinci institute and Chairman of SANOA (South African National Opera Association).
Khumbuzile is a soprano, she studied BA in music at UKZN.She has appeared as a soloist in a number of UKZN concerts, including the 2006 Lunch Hour Concerts with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. She also performed in OSCA’s production of Purcell’s Masque in Dioclesian, OSCA’s East and West and the National Arts Council Youth Festival in 2006.
Her roles at school incude Mimi from Puccini’s La Boheme as well as Pamina from Mozart’s Magic flute.
She won the Arts, Culture and Tourism Music Eisteddfod and the South African Post Office Music Eisteddfod.Khumbuzile toured internationally with Opera Africa, performing in Mzilikazi Khumalo’s Princess Magogo singing the role the first hand maiden. She also appeared in a number of concerts under the baton of Richard Cock.
Khumbuzile played the role of Sharon in the Terrence MacNally’s play about Maria Callas, Master class, in which she sang Lady Macbeth’s great Act 1 letter scene from Verdi’s Macbeth. She has also appeared in a number of concerts with KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra such as the Young Performers and Youth Concerts, The young singer also appeared in the Opera Africa’s staging of Puccini’s La Boheme and La Triviata at the State Theatre in Pretoria and the Johannesburg Theatre.
Khumbuzile was involved in the Zululand tour with KZNPO performing various opera arias and some light classical songs. She was one of the soloists in the closing ceremony of the French/ South Africa Season. Khumbuzile also performed at the Kings Concert hosted by the City of eThekwini.Khumbuzile performed as one of the soloists in the French tour with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Clermont Community Choir singing the soprano role in the work of uShaka ka Senzangakhona by Mzilikazi Khumalo.Khumbuzile appeared as a soprano soloist in the playhouse’s stage version of Hymn of Praise which was directed by Marcus Desando as well as Handel’s Messiah under the direction of Ralph Lawson.
Kagiso 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.
Phenye 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 University of Pretoria.
Annemarie Steenkamp has been involved with music from a very young age. She received countless music awards during her school career. After matriculating, Annemarie continued her vocal studies at the Tshwane University of Technology’s vocal art department. The university awarded Annemarie an overall Bursary for the best student in the Performing Arts Department. She also received distinctions for both her National Diploma and B Tech Art Degree, completing both Cum Laude. In 2012 she completed her BMus Honours at the University of Pretoria; receiving tutelage from the renowned soprano Hanli Stapela. She has taken part in numerous TUT and Opera Africa productions.
During 2012 Annemarie participated in productions for BTE VO1SS: kykNet vir Mimi a celebration concert for Mimi Coertse’s 80th Birthday, Kyk hier staan ‘n nuwe Mens!, Verdi Opera Gala and One Voice: An African Celebration. In 2013 Annemarie was honoured with a permanent position at BTE VO1SS and she was a member of Forté. And now she enjoys a freelance career.