Cape Town to host acclaimed International Singing Competition

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The 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition will be hosted in Cape Town , South Africa in 2016.
The 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition will be hosted in Cape Town , South Africa in 2016.

Cape Town, the Mother City, has been chosen to host the 35th International Hans Gabor Singing Competition.

At the opening night of The Merry Widow of Malagawi, Cape Town Opera MD, Michael Williams and Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra CEO, Louis Heyneman announced that Cape Town will be the hosting city for the 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition.

“Cape Town Opera, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Cape Town and Artscape Theatre Centre are proud hosts of the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition which was founded in 1982,” says Williams. Heyneman said that as the foremost orchestra on the continent the CTPO was ecstatic to be part of this highly regarded competition.

Levy Sekgapane, 2015 Winner. Photo courtesy – Susanne Diesner
Levy Sekgapane, 2015 Winner. Photo courtesy – Susanne Diesner

The International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition is THE “springboard” for young opera singers into a career in opera. The 2016 competition will be held in Cape Town, making it the very first time that it will not be held in Europe. With qualifying rounds in more than 65 cities worldwide, the competition attracts over 1300 entrants. Jury members for the finals are exclusively opera and casting directors of internationally renowned opera houses like the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Metropolitan Opera in New York and Deutsche Oper Berlin. The competition brings singers, their agents, their families, representatives of international opera houses and international media to the hosting city.

Four South Africans reached the 34th Belvedere Singing Competition final round in July this year, and Levy Sekgapane went on to win the 1st prize. Acclaimed South African soprano Pretty Yende won the 2009 competition; Siyabulela Ntlale placed 2nd in 2014 and Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi took the 2nd prize in 2013. Competition managers Isabella Gabor and Holger Bleck said, “The exceptional quality of South African singers and their huge success in recent years in several global competitions make a compelling argument to take this progressive step and hold the competition in Cape Town and we are thrilled to have the support of key funders: the Rupert Music Foundation, Ton Vosloo, REMGRO, the Hiemstra Trust and Wendy Ackerman.”

The final round of the competition will be held at the Artscape Opera House on 2 July 2016. Tickets will go on sale in January 2016.

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