A Night at the Opera with Lisa Engelbrecht and Makudu Senaoana

Lisa Engelbrecht

Dr Lisa Engelbrecht is a collaborative pianist and operatic vocal coach at the University of Cape Town Opera School under the directorship of Prof Jeremy Silver. Lisa, apart from coaching singing students and lecturing in Lyric Diction (Italian and German) at UCT, performs regularly in South Africa as part of the Cape Opera Ensemble and internationally in the UK and Mauritius (Societé Musicale).
She is a member of the teaching faculty at the International Lyric Academy summer program in Vicenza, Italy and is a guest teacher at the both the Royal Academy and Royal Colleges of Music, London.
Lisa has also worked as coach/répétiteur for the Grange Festival in Hampshire and regularly coaches and répétiteurs for Cape Town Opera. She has also been instrumental in putting together fundraising concerts with students and alumni of the UCT Opera School in Cape Town and London (South Africa house) and has a keen interest in supporting and encouraging the development of technical and musical skills of young opera singers in South Africa.
Lisa has also given masterclasses and accompanied young fledgling opera singers for Njabulo Madlala’s Voices of South African Opera Singing Competition and opera students of the Conservatoire of the University of the North West.
Her educational background includes postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music, London (P.G Dip in Advanced Performance Répétiteur), University of Illinois (M.Mus. in Vocal Accompaniment) and UCT (D.Mus. in Collaborative Performance and Thesis) with apprenticeships at San Francisco Opera (Merola program) and Glimmerglass Opera (New York). She has also coached for Opera National du Rhin (Strasbourg), British Youth Opera (London).
Lisa has also a special interest in coaching contemporary African opera and has worked on newly-commissioned works such as Sibusiso Njeza’s “Amagokra” (2021) and (most recently) Hendrik Hofmeyr’s “Sara Baartman” at the University of Cape Town Opera School.

Makudu Senaoana

South African tenor Makudu Senaoana is steadily making his mark throughout Europe and North America as a gifted and versatile performer. Senaoana has performed extensively with Cape Town Opera, most recently in Monteverdi’s Vespers as well as a Gala concert, and has been heard in concert with the one and only Bryn Terfel with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the South African Wagner Society. While residing in Germany, he saw performances with both the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen and Theater Aachen as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Nathanaël in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims.

An alumnus of the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival, Senaoana debuted on the mainstage of Alice Busch Theater as Absalom Kumalo in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars whilst covering Le Chevalier Danois in Jean Baptiste Lully’s Armide. He also participated in Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and The Ravinia Festival’s Program for Singers at the Steans Music Institute. Senaoana has enjoyed considerable success in the competition circuit, having won the main prize and the Schubert song prize at “Voices of South Africa International Opera Competition, the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival’s “International Study Award,” the Olitalia/Rialto study award, and has also collected third prize in the 2020 editions of the Giovanni Consiglio International Competition, as well as the Operatic Grand Prix of Romania.

Originally from Johannesburg, Makudu Senaoana is a graduate of the renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir School and the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. There, he studied voice under the guidance of Hanna van Niekerk and Prof. Kamal Khan and his first operatic performances included the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with UCT Opera.


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