Celebrations as IFAC-Handa UCT Opera Endowment Fund launched

2 Feb 2016 - 14:15

On Thursday 28 January, under the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain set within the magnificent Kirstenbosch Gardens against a perfect sky, Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price, announced the launch of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC)- Handa UCT Opera Endowment Fund.

IFAC is a non-profit organisation established by Dr Haruhisa Handa for the purposes of promoting the arts and social welfare activities through musical and arts-related events. Dr Handa, Chairman of IFAC, is a humanitarian, businessman, philanthropist and is himself a trained opera singer.

The gift of US$500,000 from Dr Handa through IFAC, sees the UCT Opera School meeting the challenge set by the Mellon Foundation, two years before its deadline. Together with Mellon's matching grant, the gift from Dr Handa and our many opera donors, Dr Price announced that a permanent endowment fund will be established, to support opera bursaries, productions, coaching staff and travel to international competitions.

Dr Handa's response in the form of an acapella rendition of O Danny Boy, was met with rousing applause from the nearly 200 guests and donors present.

Following Dr Handa's musical retort and a fine display of his irreverent sense of humour, Dr Lisa Engelbrecht accompanied Maudee Montierre, Goitsemang Lehobye (sopranos), Makudupanyane Senaoana, Thando Mjandana (tenors) and Martin Mkhize, Kabelo Lebyane (baritones) to mesmerising performances of arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Gershwin, Njeza and Verdi. Received with a standing ovation, the six singers, together with Dr Handa, delivered a spirited version of Brindisi from La Traviata.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that, while meeting the target set by the Mellon Challenge Grant has been our immediate objective, our long-term goal is to continue to work towards creating a substantial endowment, which would ensure the sustainability of the UCT Opera School, and underwrite its commitment to excellence.

For more information about the UCT Opera School Endowment fund, please contact Ms Deidre Adams.

Click here to view the picture gallery from the launch event.