Artistic Director of Cape Town Opera (since January 2022) Magdalene Minnaar 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 (cum laude) 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 numerous operas, musical theatre works and imaginative concerts. Through Biblioteek Magdalene has commissioned a large body of new South African compositions for various ensembles, including several new operas. Magdalene has directed numerous operas and musical theatre works as well as conceptual experiences, including La Bohème (Innibos Festival and Cape Town Opera’s rendition in 2021), Die Zauberflöte (Johannesburg International Mozart Festival), Bastien und Bastienne (Gauteng Opera), La voix humaine (Impac Film Festival) and Calling Us Home (Shy Music). Magdalene’s work as director for multiple Cape Town Opera productions, including Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore in 2022, has been met with great enthusiasm and critical acclaim. This year she directed Sandra Prinsloo alongside Cape Town Opera artists in Terrance McNally’s Master Class a sold out hit at Theatre on the Bay. Magdalene is also on the board of the Songmakers Guild of South Africa.