South African College of Music student, Siyabulela Sikhokhele Ntlale has received high praise from the Opera fraternity following an announcement that he achieved second position in the 33rd International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition for young singers. The event was held on the 6th of July in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Siyabulela was also presented with the Deutsche Oper, Theater Erfurt, and three other prizes on top of achieving second place overall.The South African baritone and soloist with the renowned Matthew Singers from Port Elizabeth, was among 16 finalists from all over the world, 4 of whom were South Africans. This year’s international competition attracted 1300 entries. Fellow South Africans Khanyiso Gwenxane (final-year UCT Opera School student) received two prizes; Linda Nteleza (UCT alumnus) and Owen Metsileng made it through to the final rounds and also received awards at the event. In 2016 the competition will be held in Cape Town to celebrate its 35th year. This will be the first time that this prestigious competition is hosted outside of Europe.
The Richard Wagner Society, who has been supportive Siyabulela for some time, expressed their delight at his latest achievement. He sang the title role in the Wagner Society's Viva la Mamma, and was a soloist with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra in the Wagner Society and Verdi Society's gala celebrations in 2013. Siyabulela obtained a Performers Diploma in Opera from the University of Cape Town in 2013. He is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Music Performance.
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