NWU's rising opera star hits the high notes

Issued by North West University
Johannesburg, Feb 9, 2021

North-West University (NWU) alumna Thembinkosi Magagula has finally been rewarded for all her hard work and sacrifices.

She was recently accepted into the Cape Town Opera (CTO) Young Artists Training Programme, the only comprehensive advanced training curriculum of its kind for young graduate singers in South Africa.

The two-year training programme gives graduate singers with soloist potential the opportunity to consolidate and refine their technique and stage skills before launching professional careers.

Magagula says she looks forward to growing as an artist, learning more about being on stage, as well as acting, preparing and performing opera roles.

“I feel fortunate and blessed to have been granted the opportunity to be part of this programme. I am also excited about all the knowledge, skills and experience I will acquire,” she says.

Where it all began

Magagula fell head over heels in love with opera music in 2005 after her friend taught her "Crudele, Non mi dir" from Don Giovanni by Mozart. A year later she had her first stage performance, where she sang another Mozart aria – "Saltro che la grime" – from the opera La Clamenza di Tito.

“Every day I would borrow one of the three opera DVDs we had at school to watch after school with my father,” she says. “I believe seeing the costumes, singing and the big stages and audiences sparked my interest.”

Magagula took her love for music a step further at university.

In 2015, she obtained a BMus degree, followed by an honour's degree in music focusing on vocal studies in 2016, both from the NWU.

She then went on to complete her master’s degree in classical/opera solo singing at the Conservatorium Maastricht, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. She is currently working towards her PhD in music at the NWU.

She says in the next five years, she sees herself sharing her gift and knowledge through teaching and performing.

“I would like to make music with artists from all over the world, bringing about positivity, love and healing with this art form.”

Contact person: Tumelo Muteme
Contact details: [email protected]