South African living in UK creates opportunities for opera singers

South African living in UK creates opportunities for opera singers

Njabulo Thabiso Madlala is a South African living in the UK who connects his contacts with talented opera singers still living in SA, dreaming of a career in the industry.

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Njabulo Thabiso Madlala lives and works in the UK for the English National Opera. He has contact with some of the most influential people in the field. While he may live far from home, he is deeply passionate about developing South African opera singers.

He grew up loving music as a child in Inanda township, north of Durban.

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South African living in UK creates opportunities for opera singers

Source: Facebook

After joining the queue, Njabulo realized that he has an amazing voice but was painfully shy.

"I could listen to music all day long and sing secretly"

He first heard the music of Pavarotti when the family his grandmother worked for gave her some old tapes.

During his high school years, he heard about an audition for a choir in Cape Town. The auditions were being held in Durban to get various singing talents. Njabulo went to the audition and was chosen. This required him to pack his bags and head for Cape Town.

He was only 19 years old when the choir was invited to perform in London. After completing a solo performance, he was pulled aside by a woman who told him to consider studying opera in the country.

Speaking to, Njabulo said:

“She said I should sing for someone at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She wrote down both names and the train stations. I never knew who she was and I never met her again since that day. She was like an angel"

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He bravely visited the school and requested to sing. And once they heard his voice, they made him go learn two songs so he could return for another audition.

Unfortunately, Njabulo didn’t know how to read sheet music and he couldn’t speak German or Italian. He decided to go to a music shop to buy a CD that had the songs on and spent two weeks practicing. He went back to the audition and was offered a full scholarship.

Njabulo is now an international singer who performs around the world and wants to give back to South Africa.

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Since his charity was set up, the English National Opera offered employment to eight singers who were part of the workshop in South Africa.

Furthermore, four singers have been offered scholarships by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal College of Music.

Njabulo is hopeful he will empower many more South Africans through his work.

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