Breaking news: Cape Town Opera appoints Magdalene Minnaar as Artistic Director

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Cape Town Opera is delighted to announce Magdalene Minnaar as its new Artistic Director. Minnaar’s appointment follows an extensive search, with applications received from around the world as well as from within South Africa. She takes up the position with the company on 1 January 2022.
Minnaar, an alumna of the Young Artist Programme at Cape Town Opera, is a South African performer, director and producer, known in the music industry as someone who continuously sets new trends and challenges conventional boundaries. She has been creating innovative musical and theatrical experiences since 2001 and directed and produced her first opera in 2004 as part of the Soft Serve Arts Festival in Cape Town. After receiving her Honours Degree in Music with distinction from the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town, she was accepted into the Cape Town Opera Studio (now the Young Artist Programme), after which she was awarded a WBHO bursary for overseas studies, leading her to the New York Opera Studio. In 2010 Minnaar started Biblioteek Productions to provide a platform for artists and theatre-makers to collaborate on classical music productions, where she has produced, performed in and directed.  Through Biblioteek Minnaar has commissioned a large body of new South African works for various ensembles, including several new operas. Minnaar has directed numerous operas and musical theatre works as well as conceptual experiences,  including Puccini’s La bohème (Innibos Festival), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Johannesburg International Mozart Festival) and Bastien und Bastienne (Gauteng Opera), Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (Impac Film Festival) and Calling Us Home (Shy Music).
Minnaar says: “It is such an enormous honour to have been chosen for this position and I am excited for my tenure as Artistic Director at South Africa’s foremost opera company. I look forward to many wonderful productions and collaborations in South Africa and abroad, and to supporting and developing the South African opera industry so that it can grow and blossom as it deserves.”
Managing Director of Cape Town Opera Alex Gabriel says: ”We are extraordinarily proud to appoint Magdalene Minnaar to the position of Artistic Director of Cape Town Opera. This is someone who has not only performed at a high level as a singer, but has created, from scratch, a successful arts company that supports and mentors South African artists in South Africa. She has achieved this through sheer ambition, determination, hard work, and belief in the South African story and South African talent and creativity. Magdalene has tremendous experience directing and producing opera, and in fact is the director of our sold-out November production of Puccini’s La bohème at the Artscape Theatre. Cape Town Opera will benefit enormously from Magdalene’s energy, vision and creativity.”
Chairperson of the Cape Town Opera Board of Directors, Mrs Susan Smith, says: “We are very pleased to welcome Magdalene with her extensive experience and understanding of how opera can further contribute to South Africa’s rich cultural heritage and in so doing, create opportunities here and abroad to inspire new audiences.”