YOUTH DEVELOPMENT & EDUCATION
OPERA IS MY FIRST LANGUAGE
Cape Town Opera continues its work in 2019 with schools in a huge variety and breadth of communities throughout South Africa, bringing professional singers, pianists, coaches and accompanists to schools in disadvantaged and rural communities and identifying South Africa’s next generation of vocal talent.
“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.
OPENING OPERA TO ALL
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 will meet cast and creative team members and attend the final dress rehearsal of La bohème, Così fan tutte and Hänsel und Gretel.
NATIONAL SCHOOLS TOUR
Each year, CTO’s team of singers, an accompanist and an education facilitator embark on a country-wide tour to provide music workshops for thousands of learners competing in South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod. Due to the lockdown of SA in March 2020 the team was forced to cut their tour short. CTO’s Youth Development and Education department created the Sing Like a Pro series, made up of 12 instructional videos which demonstrate proper vocal technique, highlight specific challenges to each piece and voice type, and showcase past SASCE competition winners now singing professionally. CTO is working with the Department of Basic Education to provide these workshops online to learners throughout SA and beyond. With special thanks to The Judith Neilson Head Trust, The City of Cape Town, Maria Marina Foundation, Western Cape Government Department of Arts and Culture, The Patrons of Cape Town Opera and the UK Friends of Cape Town Opera Charitable Trust.
Click here for the Sing Like a Pro instructional videos.
OVERBERG CHORAL TRAINING AND FESTIVAL
In March and April CTO partners with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and WECCMA to launch a choral festival for rural farm, community, church and school choirs. Approximately 500 singers from Overberg municipalities (Cape Agulhas, Overstrand, Swellendam and Theewaterskloof) participate in the festival, and receive classes in fundraising, arts management and choral singing.
FEBRUARY – MAY
SASCE workshops in the Western Cape communities of Beaufort West and George took place for 200 public school and community choir leaders and conductors.
MARCH – MAY
JUNE – JULY
Composer Sipumzo Lucwaba, scriptwriter and director Mhlanguli George and choreographer Kholisile Theo Ndindwa work with 60 high school learners at Chris Hani and Lathitha LSEN schools in Khayelitsha, writing and creating a new youth musical production on the 1976 Soweto protests and their intersection with the 2017 Fees Must Fall education protests.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
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 2018 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 Masixole Makwetu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Madré Loubser (email@example.com) 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)
YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMME
Cape Town Opera engages between four and six Young Artists per year, for a paid two- to three-year training engagement. The main objective of the Young Artist programme is to strengthen the vocal and stage skills of promising young soloists and prepare them for a demanding professional career. The programme also offers skills development training in formal tuition settings, as well as experiential learning in rehearsal rooms and on stage with other performers. In addition to skills development, the programme offers personal mentorship and expert artistic guidance to members during this crucial intermittent phase of their careers. Some Young Artists choose to concurrently pursue their postgraduate studies at the UCT Opera School. Graduates of the programme include sopranos Golda Schultz, Nozuko Teto and Vuvu Mpofu; tenors Owen Metsileng and Lukhanyo Moyake, and baritone Mandla Mndebele.
THE 2019 YOUNG ARTISTS ARE
UNIVERSITY OPERA COLLABORATIONS
Professional conductors, designers and directors are engaged to work with students on these operas such as Maestros Kamal Khan and Daniel Montane, and directors Chuck Hudson and Claudia Blersch. In 2019, a visiting vocal coach/repetiteur position was initiated to bring skilled coaches to South Africa from Europe and the UK, helping local students perfect their vocal, language and stage techniques.
Soprano Pretty Yende and Tenor Sunnyboy Dladla, both born and raised in the rural town of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga province. This year, Pretty performs at Opera Bastille, the Barbican, Operanhaus Zurich, Deutsch Oper Berlin and Carnegie Hall; and Sunnyboy is at Theater Dortmund, Staatsopera Stuttgart and Oper Leipzig.
Cape Town Opera thanks the very generous and committed support of the City of Cape Town, HCI Foundation, Judith Neilson Head Trust, MariaMarina Foundation, National Lotteries Commission, Patrons of Cape Town Opera, Rand Merchant Bank, Rotary E-Club Hanse D 1940, Förderverein Herzklopfen e.V. and Rotary Club Esslingen, Rotary Club Germering and Theater Dortmund, Germany, UK Friends of Cape Town Opera, Charitable Trust, University of Cape Town Opera School and Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for our education and training activities.