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South Africa to host major opera competition final

Brittany Smith in 'La traviata'. (Image: Danie Coetzee)

Sunday will see South Africa playing host to the final of the prestigious opera competition, Operalia.

Two South Africans, Siphokazi Molteno and Nombulelo Yende, are among the 16 singers who will be trying to impress the judges in Cape Town.

Initially 800 people from more than 15 countries had applied to take part.

South Africa has an “international reputation for the quality of its singers”, Operalia vice-president Alvaro Domingo said.

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Alex Gabriel, the CEO of Cape Town Opera, said hosting the event will illustrate “the remarkable talent of our South African opera singers, who are taking the world by storm”.

Pretty Yende, Yende’s older sister, won in 2011 and went on to sing at King Charles III’s coronation this year.

In the final, every contestant will perform with the Operalia founder, Plácido Domingo – a world renowned maestro – and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, assisted by guest conductor Kamal Khan.

The South African pair will compete against singers from Armenia, South Korea, and France.

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Domingo founded Operalia in 1993 to create a platform for promoting young opera talent from around the world. This year the competition celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The final round of the competition will be live-streamed by free of charge.

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