Bookings Open for CTO and the CTPO's DUET GALA CONCERT Headlined by Levy Sekgapane

Bookings Open for CTO and the CTPO's DUET GALA CONCERT Headlined by Levy Sekgapane
DUET GALA Headliner Levy Sekgapane (right)
receiving his first prize Operalia award from
Plácido Domingo with fellow winner Adela Zaharia
Photo credit: Cape Town Opera (supplied)

Bookings open today for The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Cape Town Opera's DUET GALA CONCERT, which takes place on 24 October. South African tenor, Levy Sekgapane, a first prize winner of Plácido Domingo's prestigious Operalia 2017 competition, will headline the one-night-only concert at the Artscape Opera House in support of the fundraising efforts of The Duet Endowment Trust.

Since winning the Belvedere Singing Competition in 2015, Sekgapane has rapidly become one of the world's most sought-after young Rossini tenors, triumphing in high-flying bravura roles in major opera houses including Munich, Copenhagen and Rome. In a recent Carte Blanche interview, Sekgapane summed up the immense commitment that it takes to become an opera singer:

You've got to focus in order to crack it. You've got to have your eyes on the ball. You've got to have the personality, you've got to have the skill as a musician and the love for the art.

Drawing inspiration from two of Sekgapane's most admired roles, Count Almaviva in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE and Prince Ramiro in LA CENERENTOLA, the Gala will feature a sparkling programme of arias, duets and ensembles from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Jules Massenet and Richard Strauss.

Two other Belvedere-winning South African singers, soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu and baritone Mandla Mndebele, will star alongside Sekgapane, supported by an impressive roster of local singers and the Cape Town Opera Chorus. Violina Anguelov, a local favourite in Cape Town Opera productions, will make a guest appearance at the concert, along with Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Siphamandla Yakupa, Frances du Plessis, Nonhlanhla Yende, Nkululeko Masuku, Johannes Slabbert, Martin Mkhize and Thomas Mohlamme.

Mpofu left Cape Town Opera after two years as a Studio member to launch her freelance career in March. In August, she returned from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro where she performed the role of Madama Cortese in IL VIAGGIO A REIMS. Mpofu is a third-prize Operalia winner.

Mndebele recently won hearts at the 2017 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, which was held at the Helikon Opera in Moscow. Mndebele had to take a second curtain call after singing his final aria and went on to win the audience prize as well as the third prize overall.

Cape Town Opera's associate music director, Tim Murray, will conduct the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in this not-to-be-missed highlight of Cape Town Opera's 2017 season. The first half of the concert is themed "Beaumarchais' Characters" and includes highlights from Pierre Beaumarchais's late eighteenth-century trilogy of Figaro plays (LE BARBIER DE SÉVILLE, LE MARIAGE DE FIGARO and LE MÈRE COUPABLE. The theme of the second half is "Princes, Princesses, Fairies and Magic" and includes extracts from Henry Purcell's THE FAIRY QUEEN and Maurice Ravel and Collette's L'ENFAT ET LES SORTILÈGES.

The Duet joint endowment trust was established by Wendy Ackerman in August 2014 for the advancement and preservation of both Cape Town Opera and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. The purpose of Duet is to build a fund to ensure that there is sufficient income to provide ongoing injections of money to both Cape Town Opera and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets for the DUET GALA CONCERT, which cost R200-R400 can be reserved through Computicket.

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