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Songbirds to fly in for jazz and opera fest

Local jazz vocalist Tshepo Tshabalala (Jazz) and Cape Town soprano Palesa Malieloa (Opera) were the two winners of the second Unisa National Voice Competition in July 2017. They are seen here being congratulated by Unisa Chancellor Thabo Mbeki. Tshabalala and Malieloa, together with second-prize winners Daniëlla Hart and Cecilia Rangwanasha, gained automatic entry into the Unisa International Voice Competition.

Twenty-six young international singers have accepted the invitation to compete in the prestigious sixth Unisa International Voice Competition, scheduled for 23 January to 3 February 2018 in the ZK Matthews Great Hall at Unisa.

The competitors in the Classical Category are Leah Gunter (South Africa), Justin Kroll (USA), Megan Kahts (South Africa), Frances du Plessis (South Africa), Caroline Nkwe (South Africa), Julia Brzhetskaya (Russia), Prosper Makhanya (South Africa), Nombuso Ndlandla (South Africa), Leo Williams (USA), Thembinkosi Magagula (South Africa) and Siphokazi Molteno (South Africa).

The competitors in the Jazz Category are Emma de Goede (South Africa), Elena Friedrich Sciubba (Germany-Italy), Jekaterina Sarigina (Latvia), Tahira Clayton (USA), Ágnes Bazsinka (Hungary), Amy Campbell (South Africa), Ellie Bignall (UK), Cynthia Abraham (France), Anna-Lucia Rupp (Germany), Ganna Gryniva (Ukraine) and Lauren Scales (USA).

The vocalists have passed the qualifying round (DVD only) and will all perform the first two rounds of the live event in January 2018. After the second round, 12 semi-finalists will be selected and thereafter 6 finalists (three from each category).

The finalists of the recent Unisa National Voice Competition will also take part in the upcoming competition. Sopranos Palesa Malieloa and Cecilia Rangwanasha will compete in the Classical Category while Daniella Hart and Tshepo Tshabalala will take part in the Jazz Category.

Karéndra Devroop, Artistic Director of the Unisa International Music Competitions since 2012 and non-voting chairperson of the panel, has invited an international panel of experienced adjudicators. Barbara Hill-Moore (USA), Oswaldo Iraheta (El Salvador), Sibongile Khumalo (South Africa), Damon Nestor Ploumis (Germany) and Tomoko Takeuchi (Japan) will adjudicate the Classical Category.

The jury members for the Jazz Category are Humphrey Campbell (The Netherlands), Carla Cook (USA), Trudy Kerr (Australia/UK), Judy Niemack (Germany) and Jeff Ramsey (USA).

The main prizes, totaling R820 000, are sponsored by Unisa. The event is organised by the Unisa Music Foundation.

“We are delighted that so many South African singers have passed the stringent requirements and have accepted the invitation to compete. Their qualification for the competition is a testament to the high quality of South African performers who surpassed several international applications. The Unisa Music Foundation is extremely proud to offer these young musicians an opportunity to perform at an international event. The prize money usually provides much-needed funding for further music studies,” said Prof Devroop.

Season tickets for the event are now available. For more information, please call the Unisa Music Foundation at 012 429 3311.

*By Alet Venter

Two of the young international singers to compete in the prestigious sixth Unisa International Voice Competition are Ganna Gryniva (Ukraine—Jazz Category) and Megan Kahts (mezzo soprano, South AfricaClassical Category).

Rising stars shine

Publish date: 2017/11/17

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