BRAVO! BRAVA! (Gala Concert) R150
Saturday 20 May 19:00
Moravian Church, Genadendal
Featured Festival artist and music director Philippus Hugo brings four of Cape Town’s most exciting opera stars to the Classics for All stage, performing with the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra – a cast fitting for the premiere event of the annual Classics for All festival. Audiences can look forward to soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu, mezzo soprano Minette du Toit-Pearce, tenor Given Nkosi and baritone Martin Mkhize performing excerpts from well-known operas and musicals such as La Traviata, Carmen, La Boheme, Phantom of the Opera and many more.
Philippus Hugo obtained the degrees B.Mus, B.Mus(hons) and M.Mus (Cum Laude) in pianoperforming from the University of Stellenbosch under the guidance of Juliana de Villiers. He makes his solo debut with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 16. During his student years, he regularly performs as soloist with the CTPO, Natal Philharmonic, Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra and the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra.
In 1992 he was appointed as official accompanist at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre, a post he held for 5 years before accepting a teaching post at Rustenburg Girls school. After teaching for 5 years he was appointed as accompanist at the University of Stellenbosch in 2001, where he still works as part time accompanist. Since 1994 until 2010 he was the official accompanist for the ABSA National music competition in Port Elizabeth and performed as accompanist for the SANLAM music competition in Cape Town.
He is a regular accompanist for the ATKV Musique, Artscape Competition, UNISA gr8 and Overseas Bursary Competition as well as freelance accompanist for national arts festivals like the KKNK, KKK, Vryfees, Hermanus FineArts Festival, Darling Voorkamerfest and the Greyton Classical Music Festival. In 2011 he was asked to perform with the American singers Kennethia Mitchell and Lawrence Craig Jr at the annual Maputo International Music Festival. He performed again in 2014 and 2016 as accompanist at the Maputo International Music Festival.
Since 2012 he is the official accompanist for the Muziquante Competition. He is also the producer, accompanist and programme arranger for the prize winners of the ATKV competition’s country tours. For his production of the opening concert at the Klein Karoo Klassiek festival in Oudtshoorn, in 2013, the production was nominated for a Fiesta Award for best classical concert at a national festival.
He regularly is appointed as adjudicator for various eisteddfods in South Africa. In 2012 he was a guest artist at the Harare Music Festival in Zimbabwe. In 2014 he is appointed as a member of the board of examiners for UNISA. Philippus is also a chef and he and his partner run the well known Driefontein Farm Restaurant in the Overberg.
Chinese clarinetist Junnan Sun (26) currently holds the principal clarinet position in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa. He moved with his parents to South Africa in 2003 and obtained his BMus (Hons) at the University of Pretoria under the tutelage of Lizet Smith in 2011. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London where he studied with Michael Collins, Richard Hosford and Janet Hilton, obtaining a Masters of Performance (specialising in Orchestral Studies) with distinction. His studies in the UK were made possible by the Wilkins-Mackerras Scholarship from the RCM, and the P.J. Lemmer UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship.
Junnan has been the recipient of numerous awards, highlights of which include: first prize in the Clarinet Category at the Stockholm International Music Competition (2014); Outstanding Young Artist Award, awarded to him by the Provincial Government of Jiangsu Province, China (2014); RCM Clarinet Prize which recognizes the top clarinettist of the RCM (2014); RCM Savage Club Prize for the best performance of a concerto (2014); Over-all winner of the RCM Concerto Competition (2013); and the RCM Rising Star award (2013). Junnan was also named the over-all winner of five South African music competitions, namely ATKV-Muziq (2015), the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition (2011), the Phillip Moore Music Competition (2010), the UNISA South African Music Scholarship Competition (2009), as well as the Lubner Solo Music Competition (2008).
As an orchestral musician Junnan has worked with foremost conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Wolfram Christ and Daniel Raiskin amongst others. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals in concert venues abroad – such as the Berlin Konzerthaus (Germany), the Royal Albert Hall (UK), the Royal Festival Hall (UK), Cadogen Hall (UK), the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall (UK), and St. Paul’s Cathedral (UK) – as well as prominent concert venues in South Africa, including, but not limited to, the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch, the Durban City Hall, the Linder Auditorium and the UNISA Enoch Sontonga Hall. Junnan has appeared as a soloist with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South African National Youth Orchestra.
Junnan has received master classes from prominent clarinetists, the likes of which include Andrew Marriner (London Symphony), Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic), Robert Pickup (Zurich Opera House), Mate Bekavac (international soloist), Einar Johannesson (Iceland Symphony), and Robert Plane (BBC Welsh Symphony). A recent highlight has been appearing as soloist in concerts which featured the combined orchestras of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra where Junnan performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto; as well as working with Richard Cock and his Last Night of the Proms concerts.
Noluvuyiso Mpofu was born in Port Elizabeth and developed an interest in opera in high school. She participated as a chorus member at the University of Cape Town’s Opera School productions since 2009.
Her perseverance and dedication saw her chosen as a principal in the later years. Her opera roles on stage include Despina in Così fan tutte; Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Madame Cortese in Il Virago a Reims, The Lady with a Hand Mirror in Postcard from Morocco and Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. Oratorio appearances as a soloist include Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with UCT Symphony Orchestra (2012) and Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (2013) with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.
She got to share the stage with famous opera star Bryn Terfel, singing a duet from L’elisir d’amore (CTO 2014). She has also participated in singing competitions nationwide and obtained 2nd Prize in Amazwi Omzantsi Finals in Durban (2014), 3rd Prize in ATKV Muziqanto Finals (2013) and 1st prize in the Schock Foundation Singer’s Competition at UCT (2014). In 2015 she was announced as the overall winner of the ATKV-Muziqanto National Singing Competition.
She participated in two international competitions, the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in which she was a finalist and Plácido Domingo’s Operalia where she was awarded the Third Prize.
Noluvuyiso is currently doing her second year Post Graduate Diploma in Opera at the South African College of Music, UCT. She is under the tutelage and mentorship of Mr. Patrick Tikolo and Prof. Kamal Khan and was also awarded a place in the Cape Town Opera’s Studio Programme of 2015.
In November 2015 she sang the role of Mary Queen of Scotts in a semi-staged production of Donizetti’s opera, Maria Stuarda, presented by Cape Town Opera in association with the UCT Opera School.
Noluvuyiso won the second prize in the 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition held in July 2016. She was also awarded the audience prize at this occasion.
Given Nkosi from Witbank, Mpumalanga, studied at the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music under the direction of Professor Angelo Gobbato and Associate Professor Virginia Davids, completing his studies with a Post Graduate Diploma in Opera Performance in 2009.
During his time at the College of Music he assumed leading roles in productions of La Rondine, Manon, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte, L’incoronazione di Poppea and L’Elisir d’Amore amongst others. He also was selected as best male singer for the Schoc Foundation Prize.
Given was then engaged by Cape Town Opera to sing leading roles in their productions of Cosi fan Tutte, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lammermoor, Porgy and Bess and La Boheme. He is also a regular soloist around South Africa for oratoria with works including Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Mendelssohn's Elijah.
Given was invited as resident guest artist for Opera Israel 2010 - 2014 headlining in their productions of Werther and Rigoletto, and is regularly invited to represent internationally as one of South Africa’s finest tenors. Such invitations include a cultural exchange week in Argentina by Tony Leon in 2010, and in 2016 performing for Winnie Mandela’s 80th birthday and touring in Moscow and St Petersburg as part of a South African arts and culture delegation where only nine artists were chosen from all musical genres to represent South African music.
Given is passionate about spreading his love of opera around South Africa. He also has a keen interest in fashion and design and his singing projects blend classical music and lifestyling to draw people together from all walks of life creating a brand new generation of music lovers.
MINETTE DU TOIT PEARCE
Minette began singing lessons in 1993 under the tutelage of Magdalena Oosthuizen. She received the degrees BMus, Bmus (Hons) and MMus (Cum Laude) specializing in singing. She completed the Unisa Teachers and Performance Licentiates (both Cum Laude) and received the DJ Roode Overseas Scholarship, the Gertrude Buchanan and Samro prize during the Unisa bursary competitions. She was the overall winner of the ATKV Musiq competition as well as winner of the singing category and the Mozart prize. She was named first runner up in the SAMRO International Scholarship competition and also won the prize for best performance of a prescribed work.
In 2009 she was a finalist in the Kohn Foundation Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London. She attended several summer schools such as Ticino Musica in Lugano and AIMS in Graz, receiving lessons from Barbara Bonney, Michelle Crider and Michelle Breedt.
She regularly performs as a soloist in Oratorio and her repertoire includes Händel’s Messiah, the St Matthew’s Passion, St John’s Passion and B minor Mass by Bach, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins and Mozart’s Requiem to name a few. Minette is an accomplished singer of lieder both locally and abroad and regularly performs at The Songmakers’ Guild in Cape Town
Minette has performed at several National Arts Festivals in South Africa including the KKNK, Klein Karoo Klassique, AARDKLOP, Woordfees, Cultivaria, Suidooster Fees, Hermanus FynArts and Greyton Classics for All Festival. She has been nominated for three Kyknet Fiësta awards for her contribution to classical music at an arts festival. In 2015 she travelled to France and sang several concerts with the South African pianist Ilse Schumann, who is based in Vienna.
Minette regularly adjudicates at Eisteddfods and has travelled to Namibia and Zimbabwe to teach and perform. Most recently she was invited to take part in the Xiquitsi Mùsica Clàssica festival in Maputo, Mozambique where she also presented master classes. In 2016 she made her debut at RMB Starlight Classics under the baton of Richard Cock performing with musicians like Lira and Kahn Morbee form the Parletones and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. She is a senior lecturer in Singing as well as the head of the Singing Division at Stellenbosch University.
Bass baritone singer, Thato Machona, obtained his post graduate diploma with distinction from the University of Cape Town under the tutelage of Virginia Davids and Kamal Khan. Currently he is working with George Stevens.
During his time at UCT he appeared in a number of their productions including Puppet maker/Man with a Cornet Case in Postcard from Morocco by Argento, Don Profondo and Lord Sidney in Il Viaggio a Reims, Dottor Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, both by Rossini; Leporello in Don Giovanni and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart and Badger in The Little Cunning Vixen by Janaček.
As a professional he recently played the young Mandela in the United Kingdom and Ireland on a touring production of Mandela Trilogy by Micheal Campbell and Peter van Djik with Cape Town Opera. He also performed his debut as Dulcamara from L’elisir d’amor by Donizetti with Gauteng Opera. Other roles he played include Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, Montano in Otello by Verdi, Sam from Trouble in Tahiti by Bernstein. He also performed as Jim, Lawyer Frazer and Undertaker in Porgy and Bess by Gershwin, singing in the London Coliseum and other places around the United Kingdom, Wiesbaden, Bordeaux and Madrid, and sung Morales in Carmen by Bizet.
Thato also performed works from Messiah by Handel, St Cecilia by Gounod, Faure's Requiem, Nelson Mass in D minor and the Creation by Haydn, Ein Deutsches Requiem by Brahms and Symphony 09 by Beethoven, working with conductors such as Jeremy Silver, Philip Brunelle, Arjan Tien, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Alex Fokkens, Richard Cock, Kamal Khan, Gerard Korsten, to mention a few.