In a world where music education is being removed from schools, despite the benefits proved in various studies, Foundation Studio aims to give high school learners access to music literacy courses that their schools cannot offer.

The programme provides on a weekly basis: vocal lessons, theory lessons, lessons in keyboard studies, aural training, meals, transport between school, home, and Cape Town Opera’s offices, as well as all materials needed including stationary.

Making sure learners have the necessary skills to enter tertiary education institutions is the primary goal of the Foundation Studio.

Foundation Studio, cultivating todays young singers, into tomorrows stars.


Annually through the National Schools Tour, Cape Town Opera continues its work with schools in a huge variety and breadth of communities throughout South Africa, bringing professional singers, pianists and coaches to schools in disadvantaged and rural communities and identifying South Africa’s next generation of vocal talent.

Cape Town Opera has seen the fruitful results of this tour over the last decade, not only through the learners who have gone on to win competitions such as the ABC Motsepe South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod, but also in our permanent and ad hoc singers who first started out in these workshops and have since developed professional careers in the industry. Introducing learners to opera and classical singing encourages the next generation of singers, audience members and opera lovers. Cape Town Opera could not be more proud of those who have walked through our doors.

“The Cape Town Opera, through its developmental programmes, provides an enriching alternate lifestyle to youth who would otherwise be participating in the social ills ravaging our communities. Its high standards, quality teaching ethos and empowering opportunities enable the company to serve as a social bridge to allow all to holistically develop their talents and confidence through access to opera music, promoting dignity and self-worth while creating community upliftment.”  Western Cape Minister of Arts and Culture Anroux Marais.


During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Youth Development and Education department created 3 e-learning programmes; Sing Like a Pro, Sing Like a Pro: The Masterclass, and Conduct Like a Pro. These instructional videos are intended to educate as well as inspire; it enables the learners to remain engaged and busy during the pandemic when most were unable to make music together.

The Youth Development and Education team supports mother-tongue education and strives to be a front-runner for educational inclusivity. Therefore, Sing Like a Pro and Sing Like a Pro: The Masterclass are also available in isiXhosa, isiZulu and Sesotho.


We’ve created an opportunity for Senior Secondary school learners, youth & senior citizen organizations as well as hearing impaired patrons to a backstage tour where they met cast and creative team members and attended the final dress rehearsal performances. 

Click here to watch the video.


CTO implements a rigorous monitoring and evaluation programme for its YDE activities, with each participating learner at the start and end of each project. Outcomes from programmes with our partner schools have shown:

  • A 68% increase in learners’ positive assessment of their physical health
  • A 70% increase in learners’ knowledge about the breadth and diversity of performing arts career opportunities
  • A 65% increase in learners’ knowledge about and ability to identify South African opera artists
  • A 59% improvement in learners’ academic grades
  • A 59% improvement in learners’ levels of self-confidence
  • An 88% increase in learners’ understanding of adapting words and stories to music

CTO’s YDE Coordinators and Madré Loubser ( can be contacted for any questions about our programmes and community impact.

“Thank you for sharing your resources with the Masiphathisane school community. Please be assured that your support has touched the lives of disadvataged school children who seldom get exposure and the opportunity to showcase their talents.”

R.H. Joorst, Acting-Principal, Masiphatisane Primary School (Vredenburg)