Now the Financial Manager of the Cape Town Opera, Shammy Desai had not experienced the genre until after she applied for a role as a half-day bookkeeper and half-day PA at the organisation. Once there, she sat in the audience of an awe-inspiring production of Tannhäuser, and her opera education began – but she’s the first to admit that it’s still in progress as she grows her musical knowledge with first-hand experiences. Of the experiences she’s had at the Cape Town Opera, two that stand out are Aqua Opera and a performance of Fidelio on Robben Island, both for their innovative staging in unusual environments. An adoring aunt to her two nieces, Shammy loves spending time in nature and visiting markets to take in their different atmospheres and taste the cuisine on offer.