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Opera Gala
Opera Gala
12.05.2011 19.30 - 22.00
Odeion - Bloemfontein
Symphony Concert


The FSSO conducted by Graham Scott will present an exciting evening of arias, duets, trio's and chorusses from well-known operas. South African born soprano Sally Silver will be appearing with two soloists from the Black Tie Ensemble: the mezzo-soprano Lungelwa Mdekazi and the baritone Dikgang Mantoro.

Wallace's opera "Lurline" released in June 2010 on Naxos, conducted by Richard Bonynge and starring Sally Silver in the title role, was nominated for Critics' Choice in the December issue of Gramophone. According to critic Andrew Lamb Sally Silver "thrills" as Lurline.
Now resident in London, Sally Silver's career began in her home country of South Africa, where she is one of South Africa's most renowned singers, performing throughout the country in both in opera and in concert with all the major orchestras. She is now an Irish Citizen.
Sally has appeared throughout Europe in a wide range of operatic roles with  the Opéra de Metz, Opéra de Rennes, Opéra de Nantes, Berlinerkammeroper, Den Anden Oper and the National Reisopera. She has sung in Thomas Adès POWDER HER FACE in Nantes, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin and Marguerite in LES HUGUENOTS in Metz. She received great acclaim for her performances of the title role in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR and as Elvira in I PURITANI with Scottish Opera.

Cape Town born Lungelwa Mdekazi finished her studies at the Cape Town Opera School (UCT) in 2005 with a Performers Diploma in Opera under Prof. Angelo Gobbato and singing teacher Prof Virginia Davids.  She was accepted into the Cape Town Opera Studio for two years where she performed many roles including, Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Oberto in Handel’s Alcina, Flora in La Traviata (Verdi), Ines in Il Trovatore (Verdi), Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Nights’ Dream.  In 2006 she performed the Second Lady in Princess Magogo (Mzilikazi) which toured Holland and South Africa.  Other roles of note includes Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.  In 2007, Lugelwa joined the Isango Portobello Opera Company and toured Europe with productions including Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Eve and Simon in The Mysteries, Dove & Pesto in Easop’s Fable and the Second Lady in The Magic Flute by Mozart.
Lungelwa joined the Black Tie Ensemble in February 2011 and is looking forward to a creative and busy year.  In Pretoria, she is with vocal coach, Eric Muller.

Dikgang Mantoro was born in Parys in the Free State in 1981.  He comes from a musical background and started singing in school choruses.  After finishing school, he went to Bloemfontein where he was introduced to opera and studied with Wilhem Theunnissen.  He has performed at the Macufe Festival in 2002/03 and joined The Black Tie Ensemble’s Incubator Scheme in 2004.  Dikgang’s first performance in a full-length opera was as an extra in The Black Tie Ensemble’s (BTE) production of Puccini’s La Bohème in 2004. In 2005 he sang the role of Betto di Signa for BTE’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and was a member of the chorus in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. 
As a member of the Incubator Scheme, he sang in the chorus during BTE’s 2005 production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor as well as BTE’s 2006 production of Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci and Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.  In 2006 he sang the role of Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.
After his successful third-year assessment in February 2007, Dikgang was offered a position in The Black Tie Ensemble.  He performed on the first Black Tie Ensemble DVD, Bravo Mozart in August 2007. In September 2007 he was a cast member in The Black Tie Ensemble’s production of An Edwardian Soiree.
In February 2008, Dikgang was one of three BTE members to perform at a corporate function at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia. In April 2008 he performed in the BTE and SA Ballet Theatre production of an Autumn Enchantment. In September 2008 he was a member of the cast for the BTE production of A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber. In June 2009, Dikgang sang the role of Count Danilo in The Black Tie Ensemble’s production of Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow. In May 2010, Dikgang was a member of the Black Tie Opera Chorus who participated in the Roodepoort Theatre production of Coming Home. In October 2010, Dikgang participated as a soloist in the Classical Music productions concert of A Christmas Concert...Night of Stars, in Windhoek, Namibia.  2011 started off with the Valentine Enchantment and Dikgang presented an opera recital with three friends in March.  Currently, he is part of the cast of Winnie the Opera, which will premiere on 28 April.He receives vocal coaching from Eric Muller and performs regularly at prestigious events.




The Odeion is an intimate theatre on the campus of the University of the Free State with ideal accoustics for chamber music and symphony concerts.