VOICES OF SOUTH AFRICA – EDUCATION, ADVICE & MENTORING
About This Project
Voices of South Africa Trust
A registered non-profit trust dedicated to empowering highly talented young artists through a series of ongoing masterclasses, workshops and a national singing competition.
Our aim is to provide exceptionally gifted young artists with an avenue for personal and professional development. This is done by offering them an opportunity to a subsidised and very intense program of masterclasses and workshops led by a team of dedicated and leading artists and arts practitioners both from South Africa and abroad. Professionals come together to give back to the community by engaging the young people in need of this intervention.
Through engaging in dialogue with a series of talks held across the two weeks of program, panel discussions involving questions and answers, through to skills development and mentoring. Their confidence is boosted and they are given a new lease on life as the leave inspired to go out there and do good for themselves.
The young artists are chosen through a vigorous set of auditions and interviews conducted in centres across South Africa. The selected are highly talented and very ambitious young artists wanting to get into the filed and do it professionally. When they come to the program, they get intensive trying covering a wide range of topics from singing to the business of the performing arts.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
Through invited guests of leading artists and teachers in the field, Voices of South Africa Trust manages to enable the training, mentoring, and nurturing of young artists. This is done through workshops, masterclasses, talks, concerts, and national singing competition with national and international collaborators.
During the workshops a wide range of topics are covered from work on their basic instruments, their musicianship to improving their understanding of the business and the industry they are about to go into. They get to understand it’s complexities and rewards. How to launch and maintain a long and successful career.
Further to the two weeks of training, the project also connects the young people with institutions of higher education in South Africa and abroad for possible opportunities and further studies. So far we have helped six young people travel to the UK for auditions at various institutions.
A Success story:
Young singer Simon Shibambu attended the masterclasses in 2013. He is a bass voice with a lot of potential. At the end of the program, he won the inaugural singing competition. Following this and through mentoring he was helped to apply to the Royal College of Music in London. He was helped to travel there for auditions. He secured a full scholarship and has been studying at the Royal College for two year. He is coming to the end of his studies this July and has been successfully by the ROYAL OPERA HOUSE to join them for a two contract and young artist soloist singing small parts and covering major roles. The Royal Opera House is a leading opera company in the world.
Our workshops extend beyond just the selected young singers to our community. This is done through community engagement and opening the classes and performances free of charge. Taking some young artists to townships schools to talk to young students about music and especially opera. Our singers do small scale performances introducing the music and especially opera which is something previously understood to be a European only art form.
This way we are able to build a following and support for our project. To promote and grow the brand within our communities while creating an understanding and appreciation amongst our people for the performing arts. Encouraging them to embrace it not only as a vehicle for change but something our talented young people can use to empower themselves out of poverty and their current situations and environments.
Beyond working with young artists, we invite school teachers to be involved in the workshops actively or as observers. They are then able to take a lot of the information back to their own students.
HOW CAN YOU HELP AND HOW WILL WE USE YOUR HELP?
For 2016 the program is planned for August in Durban South Africa. Auditions will be held from 1-14 August at various centres across the country. 30 – 40 young singers will be chosen out of about 800 that will apply for the masterclasses which will begin on 15-29 August.
At the end of the masterclasses and workshops we will have an opera gala concert and singing competition both which give the young singers an opportunity to perform in front of their peers and the community.
The whole period of auditions around South Africa, the workshops and masterclasses in Durban, the performance and the national singing competition is estimated to cost R350 000 in 2016 which principally breaks down as follows:
– Coach travel for 30 selected young artists from their home towns to Durban. 10 more singers are selected from Durban the hosting city.
– 10 local flights for teachers, pianists and two admin help within South Africa
– 4 teachers travelling from the UK.
– Travel during auditions around South Africa for one person
– Ground transport for all in Durban between accommodation and training venue. Three hired cars for teachers and two mini-buses for the students.
TWO WEEKS B&B ACCOMMODATION IN DURBAN
– For all 30 selected young artists and 14 masterclass teachers and help.
FOOD (Lunch & Dinner)
For everyone involved. Food is catered by a local lady who cooks on site at the school for everyone.
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
Njabulo Madlala was born in Durban, South Africa. Njabulo is an international opera singers and director of Voices of South Africa. In 2002 he won a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for graduate and postgraduate studies. He went on to study for a further year at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with. Additionally, Njabulo has been a Britten Pears Young Artist, a Samling Artist and a young artist at the Ravinia International Festival in the 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 and Standard Bank Young Artist Award for 2014.
Highlights in recent seasons include Schuanard La bohème and Bartolomeo Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo both for English Touring Opera; Whale & Elephant How the Whale Became, a new 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 and Mozart Requiem at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the English Arts Chorale.
Operatic engagements include 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, Covent Garden); Kammersinger Intermezzo (Buxton Festival Opera); Peachum The Threepenny Opera (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival); Scarpia Tosca (Grange Park Opera’s ‘Rising Stars’); Rangwan in Delius’s Koanga (Sadler’s Wells Theatre); Don Giulio in Rossini’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo (Barga International Festival) and Mel in Tippett’s The Knot Garden (Montepulciano Festival); Escamillo (Winslow Hall Opera) and Moralès Carmen (Dorset Opera Festival) and Porgy Porgy and Bess at the Cheltenham Festival.
In recital Njabulo has performed 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 Songs of Home was released in autumn 2013 on the Champs Hill Records 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) and concerts with the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under Arjan Tien and Richard Cock.