International prize for Cape Town singer
‘She’s a performer you listen to’
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