Friday 12 May 2023, 19:00, Moravian Church, Greyton, R160

Award-winning Sopranos Ondelwa Martins and Zizipho Funzo, tenor Luvo Maranti, baritone Siphe Kwani and pianist, Dr Lisa Engelbrecht present an exciting programme of well-loved arias and ensembles from Puccini operas such as La Bohème, Manon Lecaut, Gianni Schicchi, La Rondine and more.


Dr Lisa Engelbrecht

Dr Lisa Engelbrecht is a collaborative pianist and operatic vocal coach at the University of Cape Town Opera School under the directorship of Prof Jeremy Silver. Lisa, apart from coaching singing students and lecturing in Lyric Diction (German) at UCT, performs regularly as a vocal accompanist in South Africa and abroad. She is a member of the teaching faculty at the International Lyric Academy summer programme in Vicenza, Italy and is a guest teacher at the both the Royal Academy and Royal Colleges of Music, London. Lisa has also worked as coach/répétiteur for the Grange Festival in Hampshire and regularly coaches and repetiteurs for Cape Town Opera. She has been instrumental in putting together fundraising concerts with students and alumni of the UCT Opera School in Cape Town and London (South Africa house) and has a keen interest in supporting and encouraging the development of technical and musical skills of young opera singers in South Africa. Lisa has also given masterclasses and accompanied young fledgling opera singers for Njabulo Madlala’s Voices of South African Opera Singing Competition and opera students of the Conservatoire of the University of the North West. Her educational background includes post graduate study at the Royal College of Music, London (P.G Dip in Advanced Performance Repetiteur), University of Illinois (M.Mus in Vocal Accompaniment) and UCT (D.Mus in Collaborative Performance and Thesis) wit apprenticeships at San Francisco Opera (Merola program) and Glimmerglass Opera (New York). She has also coached for Opera National du Rhin (Strasbourg), British Youth Opera (London).
Lisa has a special interest in coaching contemporary African opera and has worked on newly-commissioned works such as Sibusiso Njeza’s Amagokra (2021) and (most recently) Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Sara Baartman at the University of Cape Town Opera School. Recent performances include two recitals under the auspices of the Society Musicale Isle de Maurice with tenor Makudupanyane Senaoana in Mauritius.

Luvo Maranti

Tenor Luvo Maranti completed his Diploma in Music performance at University of Cape Town’s College of Music in 1922. Luvo participated and won both the Tenor and Special Talent categories of the annual ‘Young Opera Singers of South Africa’ singing competition which attracts up and coming new Opera singers from all over Africa. Luvo’s singing lecturer at SACM was esteemed mezzo-soprano, Violina Anguelov-Hobbs. Luvo’s YouTube solo performance link of the aria Donna non vidi mai (Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini) is: Luvo studied for a bachelor’s degree in human resources management at the University of Fort Hare, graduating in 2018. There he sung with the University choir at the SATICA intervarsity choir competition, where the choir were champions for 7 years running. After finishing his studies, Luvo was employed as an Intern at Abagold in Hermanus. Whilst doing his Internship, Luvo was tasked and accepted the challenge of conducting the Abagold Choir which performed with great success at the Fyn Arts Festival in Hermanus. His incredible talents were noticed and he was invited to sing in a masterclass conducted by the late George Stevens, one of South Africa’s greatest baritones and teachers. He was so impressed with Luvo that he recommended him for a position at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music. His performances over the past three years (whilst studying full-time and with the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions) have included being a chorus member in the production of I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Bellini) in 2019; the role of Gherardo in the Opera Gianni Schicchi (Puccini) in 2020 and in 2021 the role of Chief Melingqili of the Thembu tribe in Madiba the Opera, a concert suitcase version of the work by Sibusiso Njeza. Luvo also performed the role of Eisentein in scenes from Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. In November 2021, Luvo performed with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at their community concert.

Ondelwa Martins

Soprano Ondelwa Martins enrolled for Dip. in Music Performance at South African College of Music in 2019 where she obtained the Ruth Ormond award while making her way to the Dean’s list. She has just finished her undergraduate studies with distinctions in vocal studies and Opera training and her degree with distinction and is currently in her 1st year in PGDip. under the vocal training of Mrs. Violina Anguelov-Hobbs. In 2021 Ondelwa appeared in the UCT School of Opera Kaleidoscope doing the role of Gianetta in “L’elisir D’amore”. She also took the 2021 Schock Foundation first prize in the female category, and recently she was awarded the 3rd prize of the FoCTO bursary competition being the only female in the top 3 winners. Ondelwa recently sang the title role in Cape Town Opera’s and UCT Opera School’s production of Handel’s Alcina at the Artscape Theatre to great critical acclaim.

Siphe Kwani

Baritone Siphe Kwani holds a Diploma in Music Performance from the University of Cape Town Opera School. Siphe was introduced to choral music in high school, and in 2015 he won the first place in the Western Cape Choral Music Association Solo Development Competition. In 2018 he performed the role of Count Robinson in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto in the SACM’s Opera Kaleidoscope production. Additionally, he performed various chorus roles in collaboration with Cape Town Opera, including Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and Bellini’s I Capuleti e Montecchi. In 2019 Siphe performed three roles in the South Africa collage of Music (SACM) Opera Kaleidoscope: Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Henry in Weil’s Ice Cream Sextet from Street Scene and Famigliare 3 in Seneca’s death scene in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. He won first prize and the audience prize in the 2019 Schock Foundation Prize for Singing. In 2020 Siphe performed in a masterclass with the famous New Zealand Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa , and in the same year performed the Role Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte in Collaboration with Cape Town Opera, and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Operatunity Company. In 2021 He performed the role of Ferryman in Britten’s Curlew River and in 2022 he won the first prize in the friends of Cape Town Opera (FoCTO ) bursary competition.

Zizipho Funzo

Soprano Zizipho Funzo finished her undergraduate studies the University of Cape Town College of Music in 2022, obtaining her Diploma in Music Performance under the supervision of Mam Paulina Malefane. She is currently studying toward her Postgraduate Diploma in Music. Zizipho has been part of many chorus opera productions during her undergraduate years at UCT. She participated in the Western Cape Choral Music Association (WCCMA) soloist development in 2015, obtaining first place in the soprano category. Zizipho was part of a school choir at the Injongo Primary School and Bulumko High School. She joined local choirs from 2013-2018, singing under Mandla Kala and Unathi Ngcume.

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