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.
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. After her debut with CTO as Pamina, 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 Hänsel und Gretel where she was nominated for a Fleur du cap, 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.
South African soprano Siphamandla Moyake obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kwazulu-Natal and her postgraduate diploma in opera studies from the University of Cape Town. While at university she performed various roles including Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role in Hendrik Hofmeyr’s opera Saartjie about the life of Sarah (Saartjie) Baartman.
Siphamandla is a former staff soloist at Cape Town Opera where she performed the roles of Musetta in La bohème, Marzelline in Fidelio, Frasquita in Carmen, Winnie Mandela in Mandela Trilogy, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. Major international stage debuts include the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in France where she sang the role of Clara in Cape Town Opera’s international touring production of Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. Most recently, Siphamandla revisited the role of Countess Almaviva in Cape Town Opera’s 2022 production of Le nozze di Figaro, and her portrayal was met with much acclaim.
Some of the non-operatic works she has performed include the Beethoven Symphony no.9, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Mozart’s Great Mass C minor with the Cape Town Symphonic orchestra. Siphamandla was a finalist in the Hans Gabor Belvedere international singing competition, L’Assoluta Virginia Zeani Royal Voice competition and Tbilisi Opera Crown competition where she was awarded an engagement prize. This gave her the opportunity to perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen at the Tbilisi Opera House. She appeared as the soprano soloist in a performance of Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time presented by the Spanish TV-Radio Orchestra in Madrid.
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.
Kurt Haupt’s lifelong affiliation with music launched him into a prolific career as a singer, actor, musical director, repetiteur, and teacher. Under the tutelage of Prof. Albie van Schalkwyk and Prof. Virginia Davids, who mentored him in piano and singing respectively, he completed his degree at UCT and started his career by performing in various operas as a tenor.
Over the course of his career, Kurt has worked in multiple capacities in both musical theatre and opera to great acclaim. His work in musical theatre repertoire began with his debut as Tony in Spier’s production of WEST SIDE STORY (2001), and went on to perform in some of musical theatre’s greatest hits, including The Rocky Horror Show (2002), Phantom of the Opera (2004, 2023), and Chicago (2004, 2007, 2018). In 2007, Kurt was assistant Musical Director for Pieter Toerien and Hazel Feldman’s Beauty and the Beast.
After returning from The Phantom of the Opera’s wildly successful international tour in 2004, Kurt joined the Cape Town Opera as a repetiteur, during which time he worked on Brett Bailey’s Macbeth (2006), William Kentridge’s The Magic Flute (2006) and Marcus Desando’s Rigoletto (2007).
Having built up a considerable reputation as a performer and creative interpreter, Kurt was asked to be on the KYKNET FIESTAS (2016 – 2018) panel: judging debut productions for awards within the Afrikaans Festival circuit.
Kurt’s passion for pedagogy, fueled by his wealth of accumulated knowledge, led him to join the vocal department of the South African College of Music. For the next eleven years he would work with young and upcoming opera singers, also assisting on various operas and concerts as coach and accompanist. His role expanded to Musical Director of the UCT Choir (2014-2018). Kurt’s choral coaching extended to various communities, including assisting with the Schools’ Competition for WECMA, conducting the Shoprite Jonge Studente Malay Choir (2016), and most recently conducting the Rangers Malay Choir (2021 & 2022).
Years of work as both a performer and repetiteur have made Kurt one of South Africa’s leading musical theatre coaches. He is currently in his 5th year at the Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy, where he is working as a vocal coach and accompanist. His teaching is raising a brand-new generation of musical theatre practitioners, curating the craft of marrying acting, performing and singing into one monolithic artform.