ONE NIGHT ONLY CONCERT OF OPERA
On Saterday, 21 November 2020 opera lovers will be able to attend a Concert of Opera at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria featuring the Italian soprano Lucia Conte. She will be joined on stage by internationally acclaimed spinto tenor Stéfan Louw, and two local singers – the lyric tenor Johann du Toit, and lyric baritone Phuti Matuba. Paul Ferreira, one of South Africa’s leading opera accompanists, will accompany them on the piano.
The first Concert of Opera was held in 2014 at the University of Pretoria’s Aula Theatre and has been an annual institution since. In May 2019 it was once again staged at the Atterbury Theatre, with enthusiastic approval from the full-house audience.
This one-show-only concert is organised and funded by Dr. Francois Visser, a medical doctor with a passion for opera. “South Africa has a magnificent talent pool of opera singers,” says Visser. “And so few opportunities exist for all of them to perform. Through Concert of Opera, my goal is to create a platform for aspiring singers to appear alongside master singers with international experience.”
One such veteran is the Pretoria-born tenor Stéfan Louw, who made his debut in 1998 to great
His debut role, Beppe in Leoncavallo’s opera I Pagliacci, earned him the prestigious FNB Vita Opera
Award for Most Promising Newcomer in Opera.
By 2005 the Sunday Times newspaper reported that “his voice should be declared a national treasure.”
In 2008 he performed his first dramatic tenor role as Radames in Verdi’s opera Aida – opening in Johannesburg, then as his European debut in Vichy, France.
During his European opera tour in 2017, he sang 240 performances in seven months. Louw’s 22-year opera career has seen him perform in all major South African cities, Namibia,
Mozambique, the United States of America, and Europe.
He has produced two opera albums, Reflections and Lyrico, and his third album Spinto will be released
Joining Louw on stage is the Italian soprano Lucia Conte.
Lucia Conte is a very versatile Italian Operatic soprano. Her repertoire includes Baroque, Romantic
and Contemporary Operas and also international vocal chamber music.
Degree in Opera singing with honours at the Tito Schipa Conservatory in Lecce
Master in Opera and lieder technique and interpretation at the U. Giordano Conservatory in Foggia,
with Mirella Freni, Renato Bruson, D.Renzetti, L.Shambadal, D.Livermoore e A.Tarabella.
Advanced course at Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome with Renata Scotto
Masterclasses with Katia Ricciarelli, Raina Kabaivanska, Giuseppe Sabatini, Enzo Dara, Amelia Felle,
Fiorenza Cedolins, Barbara Frittoli.
Competions Lucia has won include:
2013 – Winner of the Voce all’opera Competition in Milan.
2012 – Winner of the 13° edition of the International Opera Competition Spiros Argiris in Sarzana (Sp).
2010 – First prize at the Intenational Music Competition Magnificat Lupiae in Lecce.
2009 – First prize at the International Opera Singing Competition Valerio Gentile in Fasano (Br) Lucia’s performance
2019 – Carmen by Bizet, Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini in Jesi, cond. Venezi, dir. P. E. Fourny Madama Butterfy by Puccini, Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini in Jesi, cond. D. Crescenzi, dir. M. Mazzoni.
2015 – Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, conductor N. Paskowsk,director A.Pizzech, Theaters Goldoni in
Livorno, Verdi in Pisa, Giglio in Lucca, Coccia in Novara. Nabucco by Verdi (Anna), conductor F. Ledda, director C. A. De Lucia, 46th Traditional Opera Season
of the ‘Politeama Greco’ Theater in Lecce.
2014 – Don Carlo by Verdi (La voce dal cielo), conductor F. M. Bressan, 45th Traditional Opera Season of the
‘Politeama Greco-Roman Theatre in Lecce. La Bohème by Puccini (Musetta), Opera season of the Rosetum Theater in Milan, directed by G. M.
Aliverta, conductor M. Spotti. L’Elisir d’Amore by Donizetti (Adina), Opera season of the Rosetum Theater in Milan, directed by G. M.
Aliverta, conductor M. Spotti.
La Traviata (Violetta), Casamari Opera Festival (FR), L. Castriota-Skandember
Rigoletto (Gilda), Belloni Theater in Barlassina (MB), with Simon Boccanegra Orchestra conducted by L. Tazzieri
2012 – Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart (Donna, Anna, Zerlina), theatres in Bardolino (Vr), Verona and Salerno
directed by Katia Ricciarelli.
She has performed as a soloist in many concerts in theaters and Opera Houses around the world such
as: European Parliament in Brussels Opera House in Hanoi Thailand Cultural Center in Bangkok, Greece, Albania, Germany, France, England, Spain & Portugal.
A favourite with Pretoria audiences is local tenor Johann du Toit. He started his opera career in 1998 when he joined the Pretoria State Theatre Opera Chorus for the
two one-act operas Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci.
In 1999 he released his first album Sonder Jou (Without You) with Nicholas Louw. His second album, ‘n
Huldeblyk aan Gé Korsten (A Tribute to Gé Korsten) was released in 2002.
Joining du Toit and the other singers is the young baritone Phuti Matuba, who made his operatic debut
in 2018 as Marullo in Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.
The singers will be accompanied on piano by Paul Ferreira, who is arguably one of South Africa’s best
opera accompanists. With a Performers Licentiate in Vocal Accompaniment from UNISA, Ferreira is a freelance artist who also teaches music and piano at a private school in Pretoria.
Tickets are R300 and R320 only available on iTickets.co.za
THEATRE SAFETY AND PROTOCOL
– Seats are made available in sets of two according to safety regulations
– No more than two audience members may sit next to each other
– A limited number of seats are available (50% of venue capacity)
– Maximum space is left open between booked seats
– MASKS ARE COMPULSORY
– Temperature will be taken
– Attendance register must be completed
– Be sure to be on time for the event to complete the attendance register (foyer opens 1 hour prior to concert)
– Disinfectant / Hand Sanitizer will be available in the foyer
– Artists will not be available for photos or signing of merchandise after the concert
– Tickets can only be purchased ONLINE at iTickets.co.za