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 Universty of Pretoria.
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.
Solly 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.
Litho Nqai is a 26 year old young woman who was born and bred in the township of Mdantsane. She had a great passion for music at a young age especially singing. She entered the East London Eistedford and achieved good results, in highschool she went to a school that didn’t offer music and still entered herself in the eistedfords and she did very well in those until she was found by a teacher from Stirling High School (Leoni Amour) where she matriculated.
She then went to study opera at UCT under Mr Patrick Tikolo and graduated on the dean’s merit list in 2014, during this time she performed in several productions as a chorus member and landed a couple of roles. Also she was selected for the Schleswig Holstein choir academy in 2012 and 2013, was a semi-finalist at the ATKV singing competition, and a finalist at the Ian Renner musicals competition. 2014 she went on the Porgy and Bess tour to Barcelona with Cape Town Opera, and played the role of the Lady with a cake box in Argento’s postcard from Morocco at Artscape theatre.
In 2015 she performed the role of Contessa from Mozarts Le nozze di Figaro at Baxter theatre.
Gauteng Opera Trainees