Highway’s opera maestro

2017-06-06 06:01
Photo: suppliedOpera performer and teacher Sandile Mabaso.

Photo: suppliedOpera performer and teacher Sandile Mabaso.

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SANDILE Mabaso, performer and opera teacher, was born on the South Coast in a Magabeni. He moved to Kokstad in the nineties.

He began musical training with the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir between 1996 and 1998, under the direction of Christian Ashley-Botha.

In 2005 he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Pretoria.
“While a student I sang the roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute [Mozart], Alfredo in Die Fledermaus [Strauss]. I had my first professional engagement in 2006 singing the role of Inkos Mathole in Opera Africa’s touring production of Princess Magogo.
“I toured South Africa and the Netherlands with this production. From 2006 to 2007 I was a member of the Cape Town Opera Vocal Ensemble where I toured Germany, France and Sweden in the productions of Showboat and Porgy and Bess.

“In 2009 I began studying with Professor Werner Nel and was selected to participate in The International Baroque Symposium at North West University, under the leadership of Kobie van Rensburg.
“In 2010 I sang the role of Acis in Acis and Galatea. In 2012 I sang the role of Puck in The Fairy Queen for Umculo Cape Festival.”

In 2013 he was a finalist in the Mimi Coertse Singing Competition. In 2014 he made his solo debut with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.   

“The German art-song has been my main focus along with my operatic endeavours. In 2012 I was invited to perform Dichterliebe at Unisa's annual An die Musik recital. I have also presented this work at the Wakkerstroom Arts Festival, Tatham Art Gallery.”

In 2013 he presented Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walzer, opus 52 and 65 at the Odeion in Bloemfontein.
“In 2014, I sang on Wenlock Edge in Pretoria and in 2015 I sung Die Schone Muller in Stellenbosch.”

In 2015, he toured a programme of Baroque with harpsichordist, Andrew Cruickshank along South Africa’s garden route.”

Mabaso, a music teacher at Kearsney College, describes his experience as phenomenal.
“The boys have been great and are talented and well trained.”

He said music is a “spiritual thing” that connects him to God.
“Singing is equivalent to prayer. Something just feels right when I sing. Music is like telling a story to convey feelings and address conditions of humankind.”

He said there is lack of opportunity for opera singers, however, there is space for it to grow.
“There’s a lot of work to be done to educate people about opera music. One day I imagine myself living in a town where opera music is known and loved by everyone.” Besides opera Mabaso loves the music of Bob Marley, Thandiswa Mazwai, Simphiwe Dana, The Soil and the late Miriam Makeba.    

For details or to connect with Mabaso on his Facebook page go to Sandile Mabaso Tenors, on Instagram @singingsandileand on Twitter @singingsandi le. 



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