Cape Town Opera's Youth Development and Education Department Kicks Off Annual National Schools Tour

The tour will span seven provinces and began in Richards Bay in Kwa-Zulu Natal and ends on 20 March 2024.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
Cape Town Opera's Youth Development and Education Department Kicks Off Annual National Schools Tour
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Cape Town Opera's Youth Development and Education (YDE) department's annual month-long National Schools Tour is underway. The initiative, made possible by the generous support of the National Arts Council of South Africa, kicked off on 21 February, 2024. The tour will span seven provinces and began in Richards Bay in Kwa-Zulu Natal and ends on 20 March 2024.

The National Schools Tour, established in 2005, is a vital part of Cape Town Opera's mission to nurture young talent and celebrate South Africa's cultural diversity. This tour aligns with the Open Section category of the ABC Motsepe South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE), organized by the Department of Basic Education. SASCE promotes unity, reconciliation, and social cohesion among learners through choral music.

The SASCE unfolds in three phases from May to July – regional, provincial, and national. Following regional and provincial rounds, the final competition takes place in Gauteng during the winter school holidays in July. Cape Town Opera's team, including facilitators, a pianist, and production support, will conduct workshops across seven provinces: Richards Bay, Polokwane, Thohoyandou, Emalahleni, Mbombela, Kroonstad, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Lusikisiki, Queenstown, Makhanda, Mossel Bay, and Cape Town. These workshops aim to prepare potential solo competitors in various eisteddfod categories.

Participants will engage in group warm-ups and vocal training, followed by individual sessions tailored to their voice types. These sessions focus on enhancing vocal skills, musical knowledge, diction, breathing, phrasing, posture, and acting. This year's repertoire includes pieces in German, Italian, isiXhosa, and isiZulu.

Renowned Bel Canto tenor Levy Sekgapane, hailing from Kroonstad, recently graced Cape Town Opera's production of The Pearl Fishers as Nadir. Triumphing in opera competitions, Sekgapane extends heartfelt wishes to SASCE participants, reflecting on his own journey from Tirisano. His message to Kroonstad participants is one of inspiration: seize this chance to learn from Cape Town Opera, savor every moment, and become better artists on this transformative path.

Madré Loubser, Head of Youth Development and Education at Cape Town Opera, highlighted the tour's significance in providing access to music education for learners, particularly those from rural areas. The Cape Town Opera team, led by facilitators and supported by production staff, aims to bridge the gap in music literacy and education.

The National Arts Council of South Africa's funding and LIFT Airlines' support are instrumental in making this tour possible, as noted by Cape Town Opera's Managing Director, Alex Gabriel. Cape Town Opera remains committed to nurturing talent and inspiring the next generation of opera stars.

The National Schools Tour promises to be a transformative experience, empowering young voices and showcasing South Africa's cultural richness. Cape Town Opera looks forward to another successful year of fostering talent and celebrating the country's artistic heritage. 

 


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