• Post author:

25 February–26 March 2021


For the past nine years Cape Town Opera’s Youth Development and Education (YDE) department has hosted workshops for the classical singing segment of the South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod. The music competition is hosted annually by the Department of Basic Education for all the schools in the country, including farm schools and schools for learners with special needs.

To facilitate the workshops, CTO undertakes a month-long, nationwide tour in order to assist learners with their preparations in a series of dynamic vocal boot camps. During these sessions, learners – many of whom have only seen opera singers performing on television or online – receive personal instruction, guidance and motivation, covering key areas such as breath control, diction and intonation.

Each three-hour workshop affords learners opportunities to engage with professional singers, including mezzo-soprano Nonhlanhla Yende, tenor Nkululeko Mqobongo, bass-baritone Luvo Rasemeni and bass Emmanuel Maqoma. They’re supported by accomplished pianist Paul Ferreira and YDE Coordinator Masixole Makwetu, all of whom help guide the learners through songs from the repertoire from the eisteddfod’s open section.

This year, the tour will visit Polokwane in Limpopo; Witbank in Mpumalanga; Soweto in Gauteng; Potchefstroom in the North West; Kimberley in the Northern Cape; Welkom and Bloemfontein in the Free State; Durban and Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal; Umtata, East London and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape; and George, Khayelitsha and Kuils River in the Western Cape.

* The tour reaches some 2,000 learners across the nine provinces.

The Lorenzo and Stella Chiappini Charitable Trust, The Lord & Lady Lurgan Trust, MariaMarina Foundation, Mauerberger Foundation, Philip Schock Foundation, SA & UK CTO Patrons, Rolf Stephan Nussbaum Foundation, Rotary E-Club Hanse D1940, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Uthando SA, Western Cape Government DCAS, City of Cape Town, Judith Neilson Head Trust, Ann Susman Charitable Trust, Kirsh Foundation.