On Wednesday, 5 June, as the first of the winter cold fronts for this year subsided and the rain clouds parted, the scene was set at UCT's College of Music for â€˜An Enchanted Evening of Operaâ€TM.
Opera Campaign Champion, Ms Aviva Pelham, joined Opera School Director, Prof Kamal Khan, in introducing guests to a sample of the talent that is nurtured at UCT.
Singing an array of arias, duets, and ensembles from some of the most epic Operas such as la Traviata and la Boheme, UCT Opera students Goitsemang Lehobye, Noluvuyiso Mpofu, Bongiwe Nakani, Levy Segkapane, Makudupanyane Senaoana, Sandile Sikhosana and Thesele Kemane held their audience captivated.
A special appearance by Opera alumnus Musa Ngqungwana was also a highlight of the evening. Currently a resident artist of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, USA, Musa is one of our many Opera graduates who have gone on to become global stars.
Vice Chancellor, Dr Max Price, inspired confidence in the campaign by speaking of the way in which our students hold international influence. Just as UCT has produced five nobel prize laureates who have helped change the world, so are our Opera students changing the world of Opera.
Hosted by the Development and Alumni Department, the event was held in support of the Opera School's fundraising campaign, the goal of which is to raise an endowment for the School.
After a decade of generous funding from the Mellon Foundation, the School aims to be financially self-sustaining in widening the opportunity for disadvantaged students to pursue their dreams of gracing the worldâ€TMs Opera stages.
Given the high performance standard on the night, and the passion that our students, alumni and world-class vocal coaches feel toward the Opera school, it is evident that an investment in such rich talent is a worthwhile one.
The evening ended with a most appropriate duet and ensemble from the operetta Candide - Make our Garden Grow. It is hoped that the Opera Campaign will now cultivate generous support from donors, partners and friends who will ensure prosperous growth for the work of our Opera School.