Powerful voice: Friedel Mitas has won the Olitalia/Rialto Bursary Competition.
The beauty of soprano Friedel Mitas' voice, coupled with the musical and emotional intensity of her performance, were described as key factors in her win at the fiercely-contested inaugural Olitalia/Rialto Bursary Competition.Mitas, a final-year voice student at UCT's South African College of Music (SACM), beat eight other hopefuls to clinch the R50 000 first prize. The money is enough to cover a year's tuition and accommodation at UCT and it will help her further her studies.
The runner's up were Nonkululeko Mkwinti, a first-year mezzo-soprano studying with Patrick Tikolo, and Makudupanyane Senaoana, a first-year tenor studying with Mitas' teacher, Professor Virginia Davids. Both were described by judges as having displayed "exceptional vocal talent allied with a singularly powerful stage presence". They shared the R15 000 runners-up prize.
The competition was the UCT Opera School's acknowledgement to sponsors Olitalia and Rialto, and was open to undergraduate and postgraduate opera students who are returning to study opera at UCT in 2011. The final round took place on 24 May when nine students had to prepare two contrasting operatic arias, at least one in Italian.
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