Opera UCT
Carmen Traut, Onesimo Siyothula, Themba Mdlalose, Molly Dzangare, Nica Reinke, Ellen Pretorius, Lereko Motele. Photo Credit: Supplied

A sold-out Baxter theatre signalled a year of exciting events for Opera UCT—including the opportunity to stage a world premiere, celebrating a student who was selected for an international scholarship, and brighter bursary opportunities!


Cape Town, South Africa (29 February 2024) – Opera UCT’s 2024 season launch presented a varied programme that signalled a year ahead full of good news, including world firsts, international collaborations, and student achievements.

To a packed Baxter theatre, South Africa’s oldest opera performing and training institution beautifully defended its reputation as a source for some of the most respected and successful operatic performers in the world today, and set the stage for what is to come!

Opera UCT’s director, pianist and conductor, Professor Jeremy Silver, led a line-up of performances that clearly demonstrated the breadth and depth of talent the school has on tap.

Professor Silver remarked:

“Our activities also provide Cape Town’s arts scene with world-class operatic performances of which we can all be proud, and I am delighted that Opera UCT’s international status has ensured that this year, we have been chosen as the production partner for some important and seminal works, which we look forward to sharing with audiences of all ages.”

A Symphony of Good News!

Performances To Make South Africa Proud

Opera UCT has been selected to stage the world premiere of an important and hitherto lost opera, Donizetti’s Dalinda, a production that will be led by Italian director William Costabile Cisco and costume design by Letiticia Parvoleta Ivanova set to take place in early September.

Silver says: “This is a great honour for Opera UCT and South Africa and is also an exceptional opportunity for our young singers, as the eyes of the arts world will be upon us when we stage this production in September, which is the cornerstone of our 2024 season.”

On the cards for later in the year as part of Opera UCT’s packed schedule, Silver teased the audience with hints of a fully staged production under the inspiring creative direction of a conductor and director from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as to a new Distinguished Alumni Recital Series that will take place during the season ahead.

The 2024 diary also includes the third annual Aviva Pelham Operetta Competition and the FMR Bursary Award Classical Instrumental and Vocal Finals, a competition that celebrates the very best of classical, jazz, and African music thanks to the Rolf-Stephan Nussbaum Foundation.

Exciting News for Students

In addition to the core academic programme that has ensured graduates are welcomed the world over, Opera UCT will host a series of masterclasses, competitions, and international residencies, which contribute to the school and production house’s international standing and success.

The K T Wong Foundation has also established a new bursary programme for 2024, which assists aspiring graduate artists as they establish their professional careers.  The first recipient of this generous bursary is Opera UCT tenor, Luvo Maranti, who was also a finalist in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition held in Cape Town in 2023.

Molly Dzangare’s Achievement

Also, and yet more exciting news, is the announcement that UCT student soprano Molly Dzangare, has been awarded an Eva Kleinitz Opera Europa Scholarship, having been selected from more than 500 global applicants.


Three book launches and a further new addition to the line-up are also planned for 2024, and in April, following a packed March programme that includes several free concerts, Opera UCT will stage a large-scale performance complete with the UCT Symphony Orchestra of a concert entitled, ‘The Sound of Freedom’.

 Opera UCT’s staging of productions is not only an opportunity for audiences to lose themselves in the musical mastery of storytelling but also a mechanism to generate funds. These monies go towards ensuring students get valuable performance experience and help to bring international masters in opera and stage to South Africa to share their expertise with the school.

Donations and support can be channelled through the Opera Endowment Fund!

Sources: UCT Opera; Supplied 
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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