First introduced to opera in her tenth year of schooling, Brittany Smith holds a BMus in Opera from the South African College of Music (SACM) at the University of Cape Town, which she achieved under the tutelage of Professor Virginia Davids. She started her singing career at university in the chorus of UCT SACM’s Don Giovanni and Il viaggio a reims productions. Her debut solo singing role was as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro in 2016, followed by Adele in AGL Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus.
Brittany’s awards include the 2013 Ruth Ormond Prize for the Most Promising First Year UCT Female Opera Student, the 2016 Schock Foundation Opera Competition Female Classical Winner, and a nomination for the 2017 Fleur du Cap Award for Best Female Opera Singer for her role as Pamina in Cape Town Opera’s (CTO) production of The Magic Flute. Brittany joined the company’s Young Artist Programme in 2018 and premiered as Norina in the CTO/SACM production of Don Pasquale. In May 2019, she sang the role of Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and in 2020 Despina in Così fan tutte. In 2021 she performed the role of Gretel in CTO’s Hansel und Gretel where she was nominated for a Fleur du Cap Award, the role of Leila in CTO’s The Pearl Fishers and Magda in CTO’s La rondine. Since becoming a Cape Town Opera soloist, Brittany has performed the role of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro as well as Adina in the touring production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.
She recently made it to the 2022 Mail and Guardian top 200 young South Africans. Brittany was awarded the Artes Award for her contribution to the entertainment industry for the category classical music. Most recently, Brittany was awarded Best Performance in an Opera – Female at the 58th Fleur du Cap Awards for her portrayal of Susanna in CTO’s 2022 production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.
Born in South Africa and raised in the UK, Alida Stoman started her music career at a very young age. Being home-educated, she had a lot of time for extracurricular activities such as stage school, singing lessons, and dance classes, and was able to take part in professional productions from the age of eight, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Evita in the UK touring productions. At the age of 14 her voice teacher, Tarsha Cole, started working with her classically and she passed her ABRSM grade eight vocal exam with Distinction at the age of 16. Alida received her BMus from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Cum Laude in 2020, under the tutelage of Theresa Cahill and Jennifer Hamilton, and repetiteur Helen Yorke, and did a semester as an exchange student at Michigan University under tuition of Stanford Olsen. She was selected to represent her conservatoire at the 2018 Kathleen Ferrier Junoir Bursary Competition.
As a student she has performed in Eugene Onegin and Verdi’s Macbetto at the Dorset Opera Festival, and with Chineke! Orchestra and Choir at the Southbank Centre in London, as well as appearing as a guest soloist for Bournemouth Music Festival’s gala concert at the Bournemouth Pavilion in the UK.
Alida has also been repeatedly invited back as a soloist and presenter for concerts produced by the Genootskap vir die Handhawing van Afrikaans, and frequently performs at corporate and private events. Outside of music, Alida has appeared in Fast and Furious 9 and NBC Peacock’s Brave New World, and is a freelance model.
Alida is currently a Young Artist at Cape Town Opera (CTO), appearing at their season launch in February 2022, and in their Baby Blocks concert series for children. She made her operatic debut playing the role of ‘Barbarina’ in CTO’s 2022 touring production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and played ‘Morgana’ in CTO’s production of Handel’s Alcina in November 2022.
Le prince charmant
South African born tenor Tamsanqa Tylor Lamani, from Port Elizabeth is a graduate from the University of Cape Town, South African College of Music. Raised in a Christian home, his passion for singing was sparked at a young age. He soon took part in Primary and High school singing competition. While still in High School, he became a member of the Spier Young Voices Ensemble and performed various opera ensembles and solo arias, under the tutelage of Mr. Danie Theron. After obtaining his engineering degree, he became an ad hoc member of the Cape Town Opera Vocal Ensemble.
Tylor has performed in various opera productions by Cape Town Opera and UCT Opera School including Porgy and Bess, Madama Butterfly, La clemenza di Tito, The Magic Flute and Der Fliegende Holländer. He has travelled and performed abroad in Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Copenhagen and the United Kingdom (UK) with Cape Town Opera and the IGugu le Kapa chamber choir. Roles include Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi May 2019, Tamino in excerpts from Mozart’s The Magic Flute for the UCT kaleidoscope in September 2019, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi in November 2020 and understudying the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in The Marriage of Figaro and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, both staged by Cape Town Opera in 2022. Tylor was also invited to join an “Evening of French Opera” concert in which he sang 5 French arias, by Bizet, Massenet, Meyerbeer and Gounod.
Mezzo-Soprano Asisipho Petu was born and raised in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. She started singing at a very young age in Primary school where she discovered her great passion for music. She continued with singing until her talent for opera was spotted in High School (Kwa-Komani comprehensive school).
In 2016, she auditioned successfully for the Eastern Cape Opera, working with Mrs Gwyneth Lloyd and Mr Mkhululi Milisi. In 2018 she enrolled for a Diploma in Vocal Art at the Tshwane University of technology, which she completed in 2020, cum laude. She continued with her Advanced Diploma in Performing arts which she also passed and is graduating this year working with Mr Thami Zungu (Vocal coach) and Dr Laetitia Orlandi (accompanist). She is currently doing her Postgrad Diploma at the same institution.
In 2018, she took on her first opera role as Marcelina in Le nozze di Figaro by W.A Mozart.
In 2019, she was part of the chosen soloists for the school’s opera gala. Same year she did the opera La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi with the Sempre Opera company and was part of the chorus.
In March 2020, she did the Rossini’s Stabat Mater with TUT and was the mezzo soprano soloist for the work, in May same year she performed a concert (Coloratura-the virtuosity of opera) with a full orchestra with conductor Mr Kutlwano Masote.
2021 saw her perform in The Magic Flute by Mozart with TUT as the Third Lady.
2022 March, she did an hour concert at the Wakkerstroom Music Festival. She also appeared in Handel’s Messiah with the Pretoria Bach Choir as the mezzo soloist conducted by Edwin Mitas. That same year she was a part of the Creationby Haydn with TUT Vocal Art production as a mezzo-soprano soloist. She was also a chorus member in a collaboration by Cape Town Opera and Sempre Opera where they produced Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart at the Roodepoort Theatre. In December 2022 she was involved in the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony tour conducted by an international female conductor Marin Alsop around South Africa as a Chorus member. Asisipho joined the Judith Neilson Young Artist Programme at Cape Town Opera in February 2023.
Janelle Visagie studied with Prof. Virginia Davids at the South African College of Music (UCT). She obtained her licentiate in performance (LTCL) with honours from Trinity College London.
In 2007/08 Janelle was a member of the Cape Town Opera studio program and since then has performed several operatic roles which include Sister Angelica (Suor Angelica – Puccini), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni – Mozart), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly– Puccini), Magnolia (Showboat – Kern), Elle (La voix humaine – Poulenc) and most recently Gertrude (Hänsel und Gretel – Humperdinck).
Musical theatre roles include Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music – Rodgers and Hammerstein) and the wardrobe mistress/Carlotta cover (Phantom of the Opera – Andrew Lloyd Webber). Janelle has received several awards, including a 2015 Fleur du Cap for best actress in a musical for her portrayal of Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, 2017 Woordtrofee and 2018 Fiësta award together with José Dias for best achievement in classical music for the Afrikaans lieder recital Pioniers. In 2019 Janelle was awarded the Fleur Du Cap (best performance in opera – female) for portraying Elle in Poulenc’s La voix humaine.
Since 2019 Janelle has been part of the international tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera .
le baron de pictordu
Luvo Rasemeni was born in 1986 and first joined Cape Town Opera for a production of The Marriage of Figaro after developing a taste for this art form while at high school. For CTO he has sung Papageno in The Magic Flute (2015) and Farrugiain in Tiger Bay (2017), an ambitious musical done in collaboration with the Wales Millennium Centre. in 2020 he sang the role of Schaunard in CTO’s production of La bohème. Luvo is a member of the Cape Town Opera Chorus and he has travelled abroad extensively with CTO’s productions of Porgy and Bess, Grace Notes, African Angels and African Passion.
Luvo has also choreographed the Grace Notes and African Passion concerts. In the past decade, he has excelled in singing competitions in Mthatha and Bisho and he has extended his repertoire by performing a number of roles for the Isango Ensemble.
Van wyk venter
le compte barigoule
Van Wyk prides himself on his versatility as a musician and constantly strives to discover new avenues in music through which to express himself and entertain audiences. Having been born into a musical family, Van Wyk was encouraged to develop his musical abilities from a young age. During his time at Drakensberg Boys Choir School, he received a very diverse musical education as a soloist, chorister, and instrumentalist, and one of his most treasured achievements was being recognised as the most versatile chorister, a quality which he prioritises to this day. His high school years were spent at Michaelhouse where he started focussing his training on solo singing and stage performance.
While at Michaelhouse, Van Wyk had the opportunity to perform lead roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. He was also invited to perform with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Naum Rousine and later again under the baton of maestro Richard Cock. After receiving the first-year music scholarship to Stellenbosch University, he started training as a baritone under lecturer Minette du Toit-Pearce and completed his BMus (Hons) Cum Laude in 2020. He furthered his stage experience by performing regularly as a soloist. These performances include the Stellenbosch University Concerto Festival and performances of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem. His stage experience during his student years includes the role of Vicomte Cascada in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe, Hymen in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Barone Dauphol in a concert version of Verdi’s La Traviata and the role of Gianni Schicchi in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
Van Wyk is currently a member of the Cape Town Opera Young Artist Programme.