In­ter­na­tional prize for Cape Town singer

‘She’s a per­former you lis­ten to’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETERS

CAPE Town song­bird Pumeza Mat­shik­iza, who has won a cov­eted in­ter­na­tional singing com­pe­ti­tion, could not be­lieve it when her name was called up for the top prize.

Mat­shik­iza, 30, won the Veron­ica Dunne In­ter­na­tional Singing Com­pe­ti­tion in Ire­land on Wed­nes­day, pock­et­ing € 10 000 (about R105 000).

In a tele­phone in­ter­view she said: “When they called my name it was un­be­liev­able. It was an amaz­ing feel­ing.”

An Ir­ish news­pa­per critic de­scribed her af­ter her per­for­mance of Come scoglio, from Mozart’s Cozi fan Tutte, as “a per­former who car­ries the mes­sage ‘You must lis­ten to me’ “ .

The lyric so­prano, who grew up in Khayelit­sha, left Cape Town six years ago af­ter get­ting a two-year schol­ar­ship to study at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic in Lon­don. She stud­ied un­der Michel Val­lat as the Peter Moores, Pi­dem and Derek But­ler Trust Scholar.

She grad­u­ated with a diploma in mu­sic from the SA Col­lege of Mu­sic in 2004.

Mat­shik­iza said she had al­ways loved to sing, but her first ca­reer choice was quan­tity sur­vey­ing.

Good at maths and sci­ence, she spent 18 months study­ing for a de­gree in quan­tity sur­vey­ing at UCT but then, she says, gave in to the in­evitable.

“I started singing in the church choir when I was six. Ev­ery­thing seems to be hap­pen­ing so fast.

“I have al­ready re­ceived of­fers to per­form in Ire­land. I will rein- vest the money I won into de­vel­op­ing my voice.”

Opera lovers around the world have been treated to her tal­ent at con­certs in coun­tries in­clud­ing Spain, France, Ger­many, Bel­gium and Italy.

She said that al­though she had en­joyed liv­ing in Lon­don for the past six years, she might take up an of­fer in Ger­many.

When Mat­shik­iza grad­u­ated from the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic she made her Royal Opera, Covent Gar­den de­but as a Flow­er­maiden in Par­si­fal.

Other roles with the Royal Opera have in­cluded Slave in Salome, In­no­cent in The Mino­taur, Tebaldo in Don Car­los,

Witch in Dido & Ae­neas and Sand­man in Hansel and Gre­tel.

SONG­BIRD: Pumeza Mat­shik­iza

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