Levy Sekgapane wins the World Opera Competition

10 Aug 2017 - 13:15

Levy Sekgapane

Levy Sekgapane, a recent graduate of UCT's Opera School, recently won the 2017 Operalia competition in Astana, Kazakhstan..

Focusing on singers between 18 and 32 years of age, the annual competition seeks to discover and honour the best young opera singers of today. Out of 1 000 applicants, only 40 talented vocalists from 17 countries were invited to compete in this, the 25th edition of Operalia, which is considered by many to be the world’s most prestigious vocal competition.

Sekgapane is the second UCT graduate to have won the competition – he follows in the footsteps of Pretty Yende, who took the title in 2011.

David Salazar, editor in chief of Opera Wire, said of the UCT tenor, “He has a beautifully delicate and tender sound that certainly brings to mind the vocal richness of Lawrence Brownlee and Javier Camarena.”

This a second major opera accolade for Sekgapane who also won the 24th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in July 2015.

“Winning the Belvedere competition is the first step that every opera singer wants before turning professional,” said Sekgapane. “It has opened doors for me. The 15 adjudicators were all directors of the big opera companies around the world.”

Sekgapane said that because the adjudicators are world-renowned opera directors, he would not have to work hard generating publicity around his work.

“It is good to be known, because opera is competitive and many directors don’t want to listen to young people,” he said.