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YOUNG DIVAS THRILL IN VOICE FINAL (article first published : 2005-04-25)

Three young South African divas set the audience alight with thrilling performances of musical virtuosity in the Vocal Solo final of the First Unisa Southern Africa Voice Competition in Pretoria/Tshwane on Saturday night (April 23).

With little to choose from between these young sopranos, the jury settled on Durban-born Bronwen Forbay (27) for first prize of R30,000 in the opera category. Erica Eloff (28) received the same amount for first prize in the concert category.

Second prize of R20,000 was awarded to Erica Eloff for her opera performance, and Cape Town’s Zanne Stapelberg (27) was third, winning R15,000. Prizes were sponsored by Vodacom.

Mthobi Tyamzashe, Chief Communications Officer, Vodacom Group, says: “We are confident that this competition will prove a milestone in the careers of these three young women, and look forward to seeing them forge ahead.”

Bronwen Forbay began studying singing with Durban vocal coach, Colleen Philp. Her tertiary musical education began with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal). She is currently a first-year Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Cincinnati, USA. (See separate article)

Erica Eloff has won several national competitions and scholarships and is currently studying in London with Lillian Watson.

Cape Town’s Zanne Stapelberg began her operatic training at the University of Stellenbosch and obtained her Higher Licentiate in Musical Performance cum laude in 1999.

The objective of the Competition was to give Southern Africa’s promising singers the opportunity to gain experience locally and to perform with an orchestra, according to demanding international standards. The first and second prizewinners in the Vocal Solo Category will be automatically admitted to compete in the 5th Unisa International voice Competition to be held in 2006.

More information from Ruth Coggin of Quo Vadis Communications on 011 487 0026 or 082-903-5819.




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