‘Dream come true’ – soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha commands her place on the world opera stage

‘Dream come true’ – soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha commands her place on the world opera stage
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha. (Photo: Twitter @AskonasHolt)

Reaching the upper echelons of the opera world is difficult enough, but doing so when one is from an area where the art form is not widely popular is even more impressive. Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha is Daily Maverick's Artist of the Year runner-up.

Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha is a world-renowned soprano who has toured the globe and won numerous international awards in her relatively short career.

“I feel very blessed,” Rangwanasha told DM168.

“To be where I am today… it’s something I never dreamt of. It was too far from what I could dream of.”

Growing up in Limpopo, Rangwanasha explains, opera was not something that was seen as “relatable” or something that could turn into a viable career path.

Nevertheless, Rangwanasha decided to venture down the road less travelled and pursue her love for the art form. After enrolling in the performing arts department at Tshwane University of Technology, she completed her postgraduate degree at the University of Cape Town.

From there she moved to London where she was a part of the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House for two years.

She is now the house soloist at the Stadttheater Bern in Switzerland.

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On average, Rangwanasha estimates, she performs twice a week, with most of her time spent on rehearsals.

A major highlight in 2022 was singing the soprano part of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem on the first night of the BBC Proms series of concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She also won the song prize in the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and this year was one of two performers chosen for BBC Radio’s New Generation Artist Programme.

In March 2023, Rangwanasha will be performing Liu in Turandot at the Royal Opera House – an achievement she described as “a dream come true”. DM168

Malinzi is an intern from Stellenbosch University’s Centre of Journalism and Media Studies honours programme.

How we chose the People of the Year winners

In the past, Daily Maverick journalists decided who they thought warranted the title of Person of the Year, but for the second year running, we have asked readers to vote for their preferred choice, with the proviso that we still have the final say. Choosing the annual winners is a labour of love because that’s what it takes to get a bunch of DM editors to decide whether they agree or disagree with the choices of 13,000 readers.  Over the next few days, we shall republish online all the results in various categories. – Heather Robertson, DM168 editor

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R25.


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