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L’elisir D’amore

Aug 2nd 2016 @ 8:00 pm - Aug 7th 2016 @ 3:00 pm

L’elisir D’amore

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Composer: Gaetano Donizetti

Librettist: Felice Romani

Venue: The Mandela, Joburg Theatre

Date: 02, 04, 06, 07 August 2016

Time: 20:00 ( 02, 04, 06) 15:00 (07)

Duration: Approximately 2 hrs 39 mins



Bronwen Forbay

Thabiso Masemene

Kagiso Boroko +

Luthando Qave #

Thato Machona #

Solly Motaung ++

Caroline Nkwe


(Gauteng Opera Academy* Gauteng Opera Debut# Gauteng Opera Soloist+ Gauteng Opera Junior Soloist++)



Arjan Tien



Marcus Tebogo Desando


Set Designer:

Wilhelm Disbergen


Costume Designer:

Christiaan Harris


Lighting Designer:

Wilhelm Disbergen


L’elisir d’amore is a comic opera in two acts by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. Felice Romani wrote the Italian libretto, after Eugène Scribe’s libretto for Daniel Auber’s Le philtre. Written in haste in a six-week period, L’elisir d’amore was the most often performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848[1] and it has remained continually in the international opera repertory.




Act 1

Nemorino, a poor peasant, is in love with Adina, a beautiful landowner, who torments him with her indifference. When Nemorino hears Adina reading to her workers the story of Tristan and Isolde, he is convinced that a magic potion will help him to gain Adina’s love. The self-important Sergeant Belcore appears with his regiment and immediately sets about courting Adina in front of everyone. Nemorino becomes anxious (although, Adina meanwhile secretly derides Belcore’s complacency) and, alone with Adina, reveals his love for her.


Yet Adina rebuffs him, saying she wants a different lover every day and following her example would do Nemorino better. Nemorino declares that his feelings will never change. The travelling quack doctor, Dulcamara (the self-proclaimed Dr. Encyclopedia), arrives, selling his bottled cure-all to the townspeople. Nemorino innocently asks Dulcamara if he has any of Isolde’s love potion. Despite failing to recognise the name ‘Isolde’, Dulcamara’s commercial talents nevertheless enable him to sell a bottle of the cure-all – in reality only cheap Bordeaux wine – to Nemorino, withdrawing all his savings.
To make a safe escape, Dulcamara tells Nemorino the potion needs 24 hours to take effect — by which time, the doctor will be long gone. Nemorino drinks the potion in a haste in order to watch the effect tomorrow. Emboldened by the “elixir” (in fact, drunk), Nemorino feigns indifference when he encounters Adina, as he expects that the elixir will facilitate his conquest of Adina the following day. She becomes increasingly annoyed; perhaps she has feelings for Nemorino after all?


Belcore returns and proposes marriage to Adina. Still riled by Nemorino and wishing to give him a lesson, Adina falsely promises to marry Belcore in six days’ time. Yet Nemorino only laughs in response: such confidence is sustained in the belief in the magic potion. However, when Belcore learns that his regiment must leave the next morning, Adina promises to marry him before his departure. This of course panics Nemorino, who cries out for Dr. Dulcamara to come to his aid. Adina, meanwhile, invites everyone to the wedding.


Act 2

Adina and Belcore’s wedding party is in full swing. Dr. Dulcamara encourages Adina to sing a duet with him to entertain the guests. The notary arrives to make the marriage official. Adina is annoyed to see that Nemorino has not appeared, for the whole deal has been intended only to punish him.


While everyone goes to witness the signing of the wedding contract, Dulcamara stays behind, helping himself to food and drink. Having seen the notary, Nemorino appears, depressed, as he believes that he has lost Adina. He sees Dulcamara and frantically begs him for a more powerful, faster-acting elixir. Although Dulcamara is proud to boast of his philanthropy, upon discovering that Nemorino has no money any more he changes his tune and marches off, refusing to supply him anything. Belcore emerges, musing about why Adina has suddenly put off the wedding and signing the contract.


He spots Nemorino and asks his rival why he is depressed. When Nemorino says he needs cash, Belcore suggests joining the army, as he’ll receive funds on the spot. Belcore tries to excite Nemorino with tales of military life, while Nemorino only thinks of getting the potion and thus winning Adina, if only for a day before departure. Belcore produces a contract, which Nemorino signs in return for the money. Nemorino privately vows to rush and buy more potion, while Belcore muses about how sending Nemorino off to war has so easily dispatched his rival.
After the two men have left, Giannetta gossips with the women of the village. Swearing them all to secrecy, she reveals that Nemorino’s uncle has just died and left his nephew a large fortune. However, neither Nemorino nor Adina is yet aware of this. Nemorino enters, having spent his military signing bonus on – and consumed – a large amount of the fake elixir from Dr. Dulcamara. Hoping to share his fortune, the women approach Nemorino with overly friendly greetings.


So out of character is this that Nemorino takes it as proof of the elixir’s efficacy. Adina sees Nemorino with the women, is rattled by his newfound popularity and asks Dr. Dulcamara for an explanation. Unaware that Adina is the object of Nemorino’s affection, Dulcamara explains that Nemorino spent his last penny on the elixir and joined the army for money to get more, so desperate was he to win the love of some unnamed cruel beauty. Adina immediately recognises Nemorino’s sincerity, regrets her behaviour and realises that she has loved Nemorino all along.


Although Dulcamara seizes the opportunity to try and sell her some of his potion to win back Nemorino, Adina declares that she has full confidence in her own powers of attraction.
Nemorino appears alone, pensive, reflecting on a tear he saw in Adina’s eye when he was ignoring her earlier. Solely based on that, he convinces himself that Adina loves him. She enters and asks why he has chosen to join the army and leave the village. When Nemorino explains that he was seeking a better life, Adina responds that he is loved and that she has purchased back his military contract from Sergeant Belcore. She offers the cancelled contract to Nemorino and reassures him that, if he stays, he will be happy. As he takes the contract, Adina turns to leave. Nemorino believes she is abandoning him and flies into a desperate fit, vowing that if he is not loved he might as well go off and die a soldier.


Deeply moved by his fidelity, Adina finally declares that she will love Nemorino forever. Nemorino is ecstatic. Adina begs him to forgive her, which he does with a kiss. Belcore returns to see Nemorino and Adina in an embrace. When Adina explains that she loves Nemorino, the Sergeant takes the news in his stride, noting that there are plenty of other women in the world. Adina and Nemorino learn about the inheritance from his uncle. Dulcamara returns and boasts of the success of his elixir: Nemorino is now not only loved but also rich. He exults in the boost this will bring to the sales of his product. As he prepares to leave, everyone queues up to buy the elixir and hails Dulcamara as a great physician.

Production Team:

MarcusOriginally 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 Be thoven 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)

Tien Arjan German-Dutch conductor Arjan Tien studied violin and viola at the Conservatory in Utrecht and conducting with George Hurst and Roberto Benzi in England and Switzerland. He finished his studies in Utrecht in 1994 summa cum laude. As a viola player he gave his solo debut with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists in Sao Paulo and Vitória in Brasil.


Arjan Tien also was concert master at the Brabants Kammerorchester and solo violist at the Dutch National Youth Orchestra. From 1992 to 2004 he was a viola player at the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland. In 1997 Arjan Tien attended the International Conductor Master Class in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. He received First Prize “Rotary-Faller”.


In 1998 he gave his debut at the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. That led to many further invitations from this and all other orchestras in South Africa. Between 1999 and 2001 he worked as assistant conductor at the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland and the Dutch Opera Society.


In 2000 he took over the Dutch Youth Orchestra at short notice. In 2001 his debut with Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 2002 he recorded the film music to De Tweeling with the Metropole Orchester. In 2003 he conducted the Netherlands Symphonic Orchestra. Both orchestras re-invited him immediately to conduct programs in 2004 and 2005. Arjan Tien’s vast repertoire stretches from baroque to classical and romantic to contemporary music and pop music. He conducted several world premieres, among them Deux Entr’actes Tragiques by Richard Wagner.


Arjan Tien conducted various recordings for television, radio and CD. He performed in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Tury, Austria, Slovenia, Souch Africa, Sweden, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. He conducted, among others, Sinfonieorchester Biel, KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra Durban, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgrad Filharmonische Orchester, Netherlands Radio Filharmonie, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Baroque 2000 in South Africa, Metropole Orchester and the Residentie Orchester.


In 2003 Arjan Tien assisted Ingo Metzmacher at a concert performance of The Makropoulos Case at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He also assisted at the De Nederlandes Opera in Amsterdam at Boris Godunov. In Hilversum he conducted Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in Nijmegen Cavalleria Rusticana and in South African Durban Dido and Aeneas. In 2005 he worked with, a.o., the Metropole Orchester, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchester as well as the Residentie Orchester.


In September 2006 he will become Chief Conductor and Artistic Leader of the newly founded Magogo Chamber Orchestra in the Dutch Tilburg. Furture plans include performances with most of the above mentioned orchestras as well as the Arnhem Philharmonic, the Residentie Orchestra, the Syros Festival Chamber Orchestra and the Antalya Symphony Orchestra.


In 2007 Arjan Tien has been invited to conduct several opera performances; Les Contes d’ Hoffmann by Offenbach at the State Theatre in Pretoria with the Black Tie Ensemble, the world premiere of God’s Library by Krüs with Opera Spanga in the Netherlands as well as Verdi’s La Traviata and Die Fledermaus, Dido and Aeneas and Haydn’s L’Isola Disabitata in Tilburg. Arjan Tien teaches conducting at the Fontys Academy of Arts in Tilburg.


Disbergen Wilhelm Wilhelm Disbergen is a theatre set, costume, audiovisual, and lighting designer. He has designed more than a hundred productions locally and internationally, mostly at the Market Theatre and South African State Theatre. For opera, he has designed Lucia di Lammermoor, Cossi Fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. For dance, he has created two works with celebrated French choreographer Redha Benteifour – Redha’s Giselle and CrashDance.


He designed the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year 2012, Bailey Snyman’s Moffie, and Sbonakaliso Ndaba’s Pula, and most recently, Mark Hawkins’ From The Til Now at the Durban Playhouse. In 2014 in theatre, he designed Marikana – The Musical, Protest and Mating Birds for the South African State Theatre and Silent Voice (seen in Edinburgh 2014 and on a national tour), Eclipsed for the Soweto Theatre.


He designed a new set for the TV Series Muvhango, a international fim set and designed and produced two recent Broadway productions – The Mountaintop? at the Market Theatre, and The Testament of Mary. Amambazo – The Musical (featuring Multiple Grammy winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo) was seen at the South African State Theatre and again at the Durban Playhouse in Sept 2014.

Christiaan Harris

Born in Pretoria and raised in Potgietersrus (Mokopane), Christiaan Harris is currently enrolled for his Masters degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria with specialisation in Curatorial services. Christiaan had a keen interest for the performing arts as well as fine arts from quite a young age. At University Christiaan studied Fine Arts, which he later also pursued as a career after obtaining the degree BA Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria in 2011.


Christiaan had exhibited both nationally and internationally with his final year body of work entitled, The Anatomy of Libretto (2011) which was chosen as one of the festival favorites at the World Event for Young Artists in 2012.


He had his debut in theatre at the Market theatre in Johannesburg as a set/costume designer in 2013 for The Journey and The Mother of all eating (2014). In 2014 Christiaan took part in an internship programme at the South African State Theatre, during which he also curated a small permanent display in the South African State Theatre artifacts gallery which is soon to be opened. Shortly after this internship, Christiaan was approached by the National Heritage Foundation, to source items for display and also do research about the history of South African theatre and the history of the old Performing Arts Council of Transvaal for an exhibition about the golden years of theatre in Gauteng. His endeavors in the history of theatre will carry on, as he was subsequently approached to co-write a book about the history of South African theatre.


Christiaan was approached by Gauteng Opera to design costumes for l’elisir d’amore in 2016, which will also be his debut in opera design.


Bronwen forbayAfter her successful company debut with Gauteng Opera in the role of Violetta in the Opera La Traviata in 2015, Gauteng Opera decided to invite Ms Forbay again to enchant our Gauteng audience with the charming role of Adina.


A Fulbright Scholar born in Durban, South Africa, BRONWEN FORBAY has performed for both the late Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth the Second. Her principal operatic roles include critically acclaimed performances of Mozart’s Queen of the Night with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Eugene Opera, and Tulsa Opera. Lead role successes include the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor and Violetta in La Traviata, both with the Cape Town Opera, as well as the title role in She never lost a passenger: the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad with the Amarillo Opera.


Upcoming performances include Velmyra in the premier of Wading Home, a twenty-first century opera by American composer Mary Alice Rich and author Rosalyn Story, in Dallas, TX, as well as a tour of Texas and South Africa of Brahms’ Liebeslieder, Neue Liebeslieder, and Zigeunerlieder.


Based in South Africa from 2009-2011 to fulfill her Fulbright home stay requirement, Ms. Forbay taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Opera Studio and Choral Academy while performing extensively throughout the country. Performances during that time include the title character in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Cape Town Opera, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Soprano Soloist in South African composer Philip Miller’s REwind Cantata for Voice Tape and Testimony at the Royal Festival Hall in London.


Ms. Forbay maintains an extensive concert repertoire of standard and modern works including Bach’s B Minor Mass, Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Mozart’s Mass in c minor and Requiem, performed on tour in Venice, Verona and Vicenza (Italy) with Varna International.


Ms. Forbay has been successful in national and international competitions. A finalist in the 2013 National Opera Association Voice Competition, she won the 1st UNISA Southern African Voice Competition and CCM Sam Adams Award for “most outstanding performance in a CCM opera production” in 2005, won 3rd prize in both the 5th UNISA International Voice Competition and CCM Corbett Opera Scholarship Competition in 2006, and won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music (a prestigious national South African award) in 2007.


Ms. Forbay has worked with many illustrious coaches including Nico Castel, Martha Gerhart, Warren Jones, and Kathryn LaBouff, and has performed in recital with world-renowned collaborative artist Steven Blier, Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS). Her primary teachers include Hilda Harris, Barbara Hill Moore, Colleen Philp, and Kenneth Shaw. An avid recitalist, she has performed many successful recital tours of South Africa, and performed on the American Cathedral in Paris (France) Les Arts Georges V Recital Series in 2012.


Dr. Forbay holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, an Artist Certificate from the Southern Methodist University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Cincinnati, CCM. She is the first South African woman to earn this qualification.


Selected to perform a lecture recital on Afrikaans Art Songs, her doctoral research topic, at both the 2014 College Music Society’s National Conference and 2013 Texoma NATS Conference’s Artist Series, she was also chosen for the highly respected NATS Intern Program in 2013. Dr. Forbay has participated in seminars taught by highly respected American artist-teacher, Barbara Honn, and has taught master classes in South Africa and the United States.


Her South African students have been successful in local and national competitions, have performed with the Cape Town Opera, Opera Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and have been on faculty at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Stellenbosch. In the US, two of her students have appeared in Broadway and off-Broadway shows, while others have been semi-finalists in the Texoma NATS student auditions. Dr. Forbay was on faculty at Sam Houston State University from 2012-2014. She is currently on faculty at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Thabiso MasemeneThabiso Masemene started his formal voice training in 2004 with Mr Pierre duToit with the Tshwane University of Technology.


In 2005 he joined the Black Tie Ensemble where in the same year he understudied three roles by Donizetti,Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Renuccio in Gianni Schischi by Puccini; in 2006 he played his professional debut at The South African State Theatre performing, Beppe in I Pagliaci by Leoncavallo.


Thabiso is also part of a successful group called the Gaabo- motho Tenors; this group has travelled several times to Germany and Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Nigeria.


In 2007 he went back to study at Tshwane University of Technology and graduated with Cum Laude in his National Diploma certificate, then completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2009.


As he was still with the University he played Nemorino in L’Elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte and Story Teller in Ntsikana by Henning Wargner. Sacred music performances are Obajah in Elijah and Mozart Requiem.


In 2010 he went to Germany to sing in an international festival called Schelswig Holstein Music Festival. He sang Brindisi with the world famous Renee Fleming in the South African State Theatre.


In 2011 he performed the role of Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, produced by Opera Africa He isalso part of a company called Elegant-Entertainment where he plays the role of Chef at corporate events, weddings and private functions.


Thabiso Masemene just concluded a world tour playing the role of Ubaldo Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera(2011-2016); he has already performed more than five hundred (500) shows with this spectacular.


He already has performed this role in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Manila, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai, Daegu, Taipei, Hong Kong, Istaanbul, Guangzhou and lastly Beijing. He also played Ramiro in La Cerenerentola as an alumni student with the Tshwane University of Technology in 2014.

Kagiso BorokoKagiso 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.


Since becoming a soloists for Gauteng Opera Mr Boroko has sung Gastone in La Traviata, Hond in Tronkvoel, /A!kunta in Wordsfrom a broken String and he is preparing to sing Politgray in Out of Timefor Gauteng Opera’s season of CULA MZANSI

Luthando QaveSouth African baritone Luthando Qave is the graduate of The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. His upcoming engagements include Conte in Le nozze di Figaro, Fermer in Jenufa, Marcello in La Boheme, all in Stockholm Royal Opera.


In 2015 and 16 he sang Indian Queen in Bolshoi and ENO (English National Opera), L’Amant Anonyme (Ophemon), Mandarin in Turandot at Dalhalla Opera Festival, Dan Cairo (Carmen), Conte (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) in Royal Opera Stockholm.


Recent seasons have included Purcell’s The Indian Queen in Perm, Russia, and at Teatro Real in Madrid, directed by Peter Sellars, as well as Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Drottningholm Court Theatre and Marcello in La Bohème with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv Israel.


May 2014 includes Mahler’s Symhony No 8 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. During the spring of 2013 he sang Silvio in I pagliacci at the Finnish National Opera, followed by Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro in Stockholm during the summer.


His roles at the Metropolitan Opera have included the Herald in Otello, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and The Flemish Deputy in Don Carlo and Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. He has sung Guglielmoin Così fan tutte and Ubalde in Gluck’s Armide in The Metropolitan Opera’s and The Juilliard School’s joint productions.


Luthando Qave completed his musical studies at University College of Opera in Stockholm, Sweden and was a member of the Cape Town Opera Vocal Ensemble where he made his debut as Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and performed Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors at Artscape Theater. In 2006, he made his European debut as Jake in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess at Norrlands Operan and Malmö Opera in Sweden, at The Norwegian Opera, and in 2008, he made his debut with the same role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 2009 he was part of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Academy where he worked with Louis Langrée for the preparation of a concert with the Camerata Salzburg Orchestra.


Luthando Qave was a Semi-Finalist in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition and was a Finalist in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna, where he won The Washington National Opera & The Houston Grand Opera Prize. While in Sweden, Luthando Qave won the Joel Berglund Scholarship & Anders Wall Scholarship.


He made his debut as Odoardo in Ariodante at Drottningholm Court Theatre, and performed Nardo in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. He has participated at the Marlboro Music Festival, where he worked with the pianist Mitsuko Uchida.

Thato MachonaThato Machona obtained his post graduate diploma from the University of Cape Town under the tutelage of Virginia Davids and Kamal Khan. During his time at UCT he appeared in a number of their productions including Puppet maker/Man with the cornet case in Postcard from Morocco- Argendo, Don Profondo and Lord Sidney in Il Viaggio a Reims, Dottor Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia- Rossini, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro- Mozart and Badger in The little cunning Vixen- Janaček.


As a professional he played variety of roles in the Cape Town Opera productions: Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro- Mozart, Montano in Otello- Verdi, Sam from Trouble in Tahiti- Bernstein. He continued with Jim, Lawyer Frazer and Undertaker in Porgy and Bess-Gershwin, singing in Coliseum and other places around the United Kingdom, Wiesbaden and Bordeaux. Other roles include Shaunard in La Bohem- Puccini, Young Mandela in the Mandela Trilogy- Michael Campbell and Peter Louis van Djik and Morales in Carmen-Bizet.


Thato also sung work from Messiah-Handel, St Cecilia-Gounod, Requiem- Faure, Nelson Mass in D minor and the Creation- Haydn, Ein Deutsches Requiem- Brahms and Symphony 09- Beethoven, working with conductors: Theodore Kuchar, Philip Brunelle, Bary Smith, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Alex Fokkens, Richard Cock, Kamal Khan, Gert Korsten, to mention a few.

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.

Caroline NkweCaroline Nkwe heard opera for the first time during a schools competition and fell in love with it; she then decided to pursue a career as an opera singer.


In 2006 she successfully auditioned for The Black Tie Ensemble’s Incubator Scheme. In December 2009 Caroline successfully completed her final assessment with distinction and was offered a position as a member of The Black Tie Ensemble.


From July till August 2010, she participated in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany with musicians from around the world. In January 2011, she sang in the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem; she repeated this for BTE in April. In March 2011 she sang the title role of Suzanne’s Secret by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.


In October 2011 she sang the role of Lauretta in the BTE Production of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. In May 2012 she was a soloist in the BTE VO1SS production of Kyk hier staan ‘n nuwe Mens! In June she was a soloist in the Verdi Opera Gala. In July 2012 she again participated in the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. In September she was a cast member in the BTE VO1SS productions, A Spring Gala and One Voice: An African Celebration.


In January 2013 she was a finalist in Amazwi Omzansi Africa competition In 2014 she went to study at the Musik Hochschule Lübeck with Prof. Franz-Josef Einhaus and Graduated with a Bachelors degree(BM). And in march she passed the Entrance exam to study for a Master of Music. Miss Nkwe then won the 3rd prize at the Maritim competition(The competition was in Germany)


In 2015 she was invited to guest at the Lübeck Theatre, singing the role of Doralba in Domenica Cimarosa’s “Der Operndirektor” and also at the Eutin Festival(In Germany) singing the role of the Priestess in Verdi’s “Aida”. Since then Carolins also sang the role of Winnie in the opera Madiba”The African Opera”, concerts with Conductors such as Rolf Beck, Helmut Relling and Christoph Eschenbach. This year she is singing the debut role of Pamina at the Joburg theatre in May.



Aug 2nd 2016 @ 8:00 pm
Aug 7th 2016 @ 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Gauteng Opera


The Mandela, Joburg Theatre