Each year Cape Town Opera works with approximately 3000 youth throughout South Africa, bringing music professionals to under-resourced and rural schools across the country under the banner of Opera Is My First Language. Our initiatives include the Foundation Studio, National Schools Tour, E-learning, Arts Access for All and the Cape Town Opera Children’s Chorus.

students with teacher rehearsing

Foundation Studio

Our Foundation Studio aims to give high school learners access to music literacy courses that their schools cannot offer. Lessons in voice, musical theory and keyboard studies are provided on a weekly basis, along with aural training, meals, and transport. By ensuring our learners have the necessary skills to enter tertiary education, the Foundation Studio is cultivating today’s young singers into tomorrow’s superstars.

National Schools Tour

Our National Schools Tour provides workshops and training throughout South Africa, bringing professional singers, pianists and coaches to schools in under-resourced and rural communities and helping to identify South Africa’s next generation of vocal talent. With nearly 1500 learners reached on the 2023 tour, chances are good that your favourite chart-topping performer was one of our participants!

female singing on stage piano


During the Covid-19 pandemic, our Youth Development and Education department created three e-learning programmes: Sing Like a ProSing Like a Pro: The Masterclass;  and Conduct Like a Pro. These instructional videos, designed to educate as well as to inspire, help to improve musical knowledge, style, and technique, and to teach participants about stagecraft and conducting. Our online courses were such a hit we introduced Sing Like A Pro – Centre Stage, a series of in-person workshops focusing on a variety of musical genres as well as aspects of stagecraft.