Super soprano: Friedel Mitas has won the Olitalia/Rialto Bursary Competition.
The musical and emotional intensity of soprano Friedel Mitas' performance was a key factor 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 runners-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".
The competition was the UCT Opera School's acknowledgement of 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 of which had to be in Italian.
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