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Cape Town Opera's 'Conduct Like A Pro' Series Comes To YouTube This Week

This online series of eight modules will be available on Cape Town Opera's YouTube channel on 30 September 2022. 

Cape Town Opera's 'Conduct Like A Pro' Series Comes To YouTube This Week

In the wake of Cape Town Opera (CTO)'s successful initiative, Sing Like a Pro, another training programme is currently undergoing its genesis, confirming this company's commitment to promoting talent in emerging opera and choral practitioners: Conduct Like a Pro. And there could be no more auspicious acronym for it - CLAP. This online series of eight modules will be available on Cape Town Opera's YouTube channel on 30 September 2022.

Madré Loubser, Head of Youth Development and Education at CTO, explains that with the Covid-19 pandemic finally on the wane, the time is now right to launch the new initiative. It is designed to assist adults and young adults of local communities with no experience in choral conducting but motivated by love for this important and all too often underrated element in opera.

Enthusiasm for choral singing in South Africa is a given. Channelling that enthusiasm into the making of a professional career is a need to which CTO is more than ready to respond, with suitable funding from the ever-generous City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

Says Loubser: "One has to start at the beginning and get the basics right first; after that, it is possible to add on as appropriate. There will be eight modules, each presented by a professional, overseen by Elisabeth Manduell as director. The eight presenters form a diverse and effective group whose several talents complement one another in offering a comprehensive programme."

These are the professionals contributing to Conduct Like a Pro; Chad Hendricks, winner of the 3rd South African Conductors' Competition in 2016; Sibusiso Njeza, conductor of the University of the Western Cape Creative Arts Choir; Lunathi Ncamani, a Junior Lecturer in Choral Conducting at Stellenbosch University; Marvin Kernelle, Chorus Master of Cape Town Opera; Jade Paige, music teacher and choir conductor at Paarl Boys' Primary School; Mandla Kala, who conducts at Injongo Primary School in Khayelitsha; Christine Bam, a mezzo in the Cape Town Opera Chorus who coaches at various schools throughout the Western Cape; and Siyasanga Memani, founder and conductor of a choir at the Sakumlandela Primary School in Khayelitsha.

The last-mentioned is a remarkable young woman who participated in last year's pilot study of the Foundation Studio while still a Matric student and subsequently decided to devote herself to a career in choral conducting (as opposed to singing).

Modules that will be covered are Choral Characteristics and Getting Started, Basics, Score Interpretation, Vocal Balance and Instrumentation, working with different age groups, Vocal Health: Important Aspects, Rehearsal Room Preparation and Etiquette, Becoming a Team.

Director Manduell is writing a (not too academic and conductor-friendly) script to be edited by the presenters. The film will be screened internationally on YouTube to prevent the cost of touring; it can be watched and repeated at the viewers' convenience, another of many instances of technology in the service of artistic endeavour.

"We're putting it out there to make it accessible for all to see and learn from", comments Loubser.

Given CTO's exacting standards and commitment to excellence, the response is likely to be overwhelmingly positive.

Cape Town Opera's 'Conduct Like A Pro' Series Comes To YouTube This Week




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