Fu­ture bright for opera stars

Top vo­cal­ists re­flect on the road ahead

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODVOICES -

They agreed that the au­di­tions were more stress­ful than the fi­nal per­for­mance. “Then,” points out Teto, “you have to work hard to do jus­tice to the award, which at R5 000 each, is very gen­er­ous.”

Both win­ners are in their sec­ond year of study at UCT, al­though Teto, who is from Bizana in the East­ern Cape, is the more ex­pe­ri­enced of the two, hav­ing al­ready com­pleted a BMus de­gree at the Uni­ver­sity of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the first year of her Mas­ter’s de­gree.

“I came to Cape Town at the sug­ges­tion of pi­anist Lisa En­gel­brecht, who heard me sing in KwaZu­luNatal and felt that I needed more stage ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

Khayelit­sha-bor n and -bred, Mgetyen­gana came to the Opera School via a dif­fer­ent route. He re­alised as early as Grade 9 that his as­pi­ra­tions were dif­fer­ent from those of his peers. “They all wanted to be doc­tors or lawyers or ac­coun­tants, but I knew when I was 14 or so that I had a pas­sion for singing as well as act­ing. Opera al­lows you to do both.

“So I came to UCT in 2007 to do a bridg­ing year be­fore start­ing my de­gree. I love study­ing here, be­cause the teach­ing meth­ods are won­der­ful and I learn some­thing new ev­ery day.

Teto said study­ing at UCT had helped her to ma­ture both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.

Both stu­dents agree that the spirit of com­pe­ti­tion at the Opera School is “very healthy”.

“Here I’ve learnt that (com­pe­ti­tions) can be a pos­i­tive force in a per­former’s ca­reer, and en­cour­age­ment from one’s men­tors is valu­able,” Teto said.

Mgetyen­gana is equally grate­ful to his men­tor, who he said as­sisted him in find­ing pieces to suit his voice.

Those who at­tended this year’s com­pe­ti­tion will agree on two things – the cal­i­bre of per­for­mance was ex­cep­tion­ally high, and both win­ners de­served the ac­co­lades.

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