My name is Njabulo Madlala and I am an opera singer resident in the UK. I was born in Durban South Africa.
A few years ago I started a programme of workshops and Masterclasses in my native South Africa to help develop talent and help young people change their lives.
ABOUT MY PROJECT
This is a yearly and only intensive opera masterclass program for highly talented young singers in South Africa. The program offers opportunity for learning and development. Young aspiring opera singers are selected from across South Africa and neighbouring Southern African countries through a rigorous set of auditions.
The project provides exceptionally gifted young artists between the ages of 18 -32 years with an avenue for personal and professional development. This is done by offering them an opportunity to a subsidised and very intensive program of masterclasses and workshops led by a team of dedicated and leading artists and arts practitioners both from South Africa and abroad.
Leading international singers, conductors and vocal coaches with established careers in the field of opera come to South Africa each year to work with a select number of young singers in an intensive but very supportive and safe environment over two weeks during which time they share knowledge gained through years of performing and working in Opera.
During the workshops a wide range of topics are covered from working on the young singers singing, their musicianship to improving their understanding of the the industry they are about to work in. They get to understand the complexities and rewards of working in the arts and most importantly how to launch and maintain a long and successful career.
Most importantly, the project connects the young people who take part with institutions of higher learning in South Africa and abroad for possible opportunities for further studies.
So far we have helped six young people travel to the UK for auditions and studies at various institutions including the Royal College of Music, The Royal Opera House Young Artist Programme and the National Opera Studio.
HOW CAN YOU HELP AND HOW WILL WE USE YOUR HELP?
In 2018, the program is planned to be held in Cape Town - South Africa on 13-26 February.
Auditions have been held and 20 exceptional young singers have been selected to take part.
International Opera stars Soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, and tenor Emilio Pons, David Gowland from the Royal Opera House, David Cowan from Opera North, Kamal Khan from the Metropolitan Opera and South African German based Baritone Kobie Van Rensberg from Umculo Trust have all agreed lead the masterclasses.
The whole project will cost £20 000 in 2018 which principally breaks down as follows:
- Coach travel for 20 selected young singers from their home towns to Cape Town.
- 3 international flights and one local flight for teachers, pianists and two admin help.
- Ground transport for all in Cape Town between accommodation, performing and training venues.
- For all 20 selected young artists
- 10 masterclass teachers and project help.
FOOD (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
For everyone involved.
VENUE HIRE (For Masterclasses, Workshops & Performances)
This will be venues for auditions, the school of music who have offered us the whole school to use for the workshops period at a reasonable fee.
- For four young runners for the duration of the workshops
- Two drivers
- Marketing & Publicity
- Printing and documenting of events
- No fees are paid to the leaders but all expenses are covered and an equal token fee will be given to each teacher for giving up their own work to come and contribute to the success of their project.
Milestone 1 (Tipping Point) : £5 000
Our basic funding target is £5,000 which will cover shared Bed and Breakfast Accomodation for all 30 people involved.
Milestone 2 - £10 000
We would like to raise a further £5,000 which would help cover all food for teachers and young artists for the entire period.
Milestone 3 - £15 000
Our dream is to raise a further amount of £5000 which will help us cover all travelling and local transport for all involved during the entire period.
Milestone 4 - £20 000
Our dream is to raise a further amount of £5,000 which will help us secure venues for Masterclasses and the Singing Competition Showcase at the end, hire pianos, printing of programmes and certificates, a photographer and video camera to document events and any other accidentals.
YOU CAN ALSO HELP BY SIMPLY SUPPORTING A SINGER OUT OF THE 20 SELECTED. EACH SINGER WILL COST THE PROJECT £350.
PROJECT LEADER AND ORGANISER
Njabulo Madlala is a South African born British resident baritone. He studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for graduate and postgraduate studies from 2002-2009. In 2010 Njabulo went on to study for a further year at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with world renowned tenor Dennis O’Neill. Additionally, he has been a Britten Pears Young Artist, a Samling Foundation Scholar and a young artist at the Ravinia International Festival USA.
Among his accolades Njabulo is the winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award, 2012 Singers Section Final of the Royal Overseas League Competition, the 2012 Lorna Viol Memorial Prize, the Royal Overseas League Trophy for the most outstanding musician
from overseas, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music in 2014.
Opera highlights in recent seasons include making his main stage debut at the Royal Opera House in Shostakovich’s The Nose, in a new production directed by Barrie Kosky, Scarpia Tosca (Grange Park Opera’s ‘Rising Stars’); Schaunard La bohème and Bartolomeo Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo both for English Touring Opera; Whale in How the Whale Became, a world premier of the opera by Julian Phillips for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; his Norwegian debut in Orlando Gough’s Voices and Votes for the Bergen National Opera; the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni (Mid Wales Opera); Don Fernando Fidelio, Bello La fanciulla del West and Schaunard La bohème (all for Opera Holland Park); Master of the Thames Boat Heart of Darkness (Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House), Kammersinger Strauss’s Intermezzo (Buxton Festival Opera), Peachum The Threepenny Opera (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival), Rangwan in Delius's Koanga (Sadler’s Wells Theatre), Don Giulio in Rossini's L’ajo nell’imbarazzo (Barga International Festival); Mel in Tippett's The Knot Garden (Montepulciano Festival); Escamillo (Winslow Hall Opera); Moralès Carmen (Dorset Opera Festival) and Porgy Porgy and Bess at the Cheltenham Festival.
In recital Njabulo’s highlights have included performing with Roger Vignoles (Cambridge Festival and Lugo Festival in Spain), Julius Drake (Mananan Festival), Williams Vann (Oxford Lieder Festival & Ripon International Festival), Simon Lepper (Wigmore Hall Monday Concert Series and Buxton Festival), Llŷr Williams (Gower Festival) and with James Baillieu (Lake District Music Festival). His debut CD titled Songs of Home was released in autumn 2013 on the Champs Hill Record label.
Concert highlights include Mozart Requiem (English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski); Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Belshazzar’s Feast at the Three Choirs Festival (Philharmonia Orchestra) and Royal Festival Hall (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Messiah (Philharmonia Orchestra); Elijah at the Snape Maltings; J. S. Bach Ich habe genug (Ten Tors Orchestra); Dido and Aeneas at (Wimbledon International Music Festival) ; Carmina Burana (KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra / Justs Frantz) Verdi Requiem and Brahms Requiem / Richard Cock).
In the current season Njabulo creates the role of Ashwini in the world premier of the only opera written by Ravi Shankar a co-production between the Royal Opera House and London Philharmonic Orchestra, sings Casper in Weber's Der Freischütz performs a series of Gershwin Concerts for Raymond Gubbay, Child of Our Time (Aberystwyth Choral Society), Carmina Burana (Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society's 50th anniversary concert) and excerpts from Porgy & Bess with Bolton Symphony and in Moscow.
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