SATUR­DAY IN­TER­VIEW

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

has been in­stru­men­tal in help­ing are Ge­orge Stevens, now Head of Singing at UCT’s Col­lege of Mu­sic, and James Bhemgee, the City Coun­cil em­ployee who went on to win the SA’s Got Tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion.

She has also founded three singing groups, The Bril­liant Bari­tones, The Ter­rific Tenors and The Fine Singers.

Fit­tingly, then, for some­one who half sus­pected she had been for­got­ten, Wendy Fine was the deeply grate­ful re­cip­i­ent last week of the in­au­gu­ral Western Cape gov­ern­ment’s Life­time Achieve­ment Award for her con­tri­bu­tion to arts and the opera genre.

The ci­ta­tion, which ac­knowl­edges that “this iconic opera singer” was “one of the first South African so­pra­nos to have be­come an in­ter­na­tional opera star”, sums up a long and var­ied singing life by not­ing not only her “ex­cep­tional vo­cal ver­sa­til­ity, ex­cel­lent range and com­mand­ing stage pres­ence” which en­abled her to “per­form a wide reper­toire and grace opera houses around the world”, but her com­mit­ment to “nur­tur­ing singers and find­ing tal­ent in our com­mu­ni­ties and tak­ing them to the world”. Wendy Fine, it con­cludes, “is truly a re­mark­able South African and ac­tivist for the arts and the opera genre”.

Cape Town’s choral mae­stro Barry Smith said in a trib­ute to Fine: “If she were a Bri­tish cit­i­zen she would have long ago been ‘Dame Wendy Fine’.”

He went on to re­count how,

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