Future bright for opera stars
Top vocalists reflect on the road ahead
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.