Noluvuyiso Mpofu, Lukhanyo Moyake, Caroline Modiba and Levy Sekgapane, four South African opera singers reached the final stage of the 34th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The competition, known as THE “springboard” for a career in opera drew 1314 participants from all over the world. The finals took place this past weekend and Levy Sekgapane, a UCT Opera School student, not only won the overall first prize but also walked away with four more special prizes. Levy was a student at Stellenberg High School in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and went onto opera studies at the University of Cape Town Opera school, where he studied under Hanna van Niekerk.
“Four South Africans sang their hearts out and beautifully – Levy Sekgapane took First Prize at Belvedere Competition…bravo bravo e bravi!!!! And to the vocal coaches, I’m so happy for all of you to see the fruit of your labour once more on the international stage. And of course congratulations to the other SA singers who made it to the finals! Sometimes it is as simple as reminding someone of a “forbidden liaison” in French, or not doubling a single consonant- just keeping focused on quality and not “competition”. This is an art form – not a business. Some of us are lucky enough to live from art. That is a privilege when it happens,” said Professor Kamal Khan, head of the UCT Opera school.
South African opera sensation Pretty Yende won this competition in 2009 and currently has an international career with engagements at the most renowned opera houses in the world.
Opera in South Africa is taking the world by storm; with our natural talent and amazing voices it’s no surprise.
The 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition will be held in Cape Town in July 2016.