The Institute of Musicology


Transnational Networks of Operetta in Early Unified and Fin de Siècle Italy


South African Opera and Globalisation (1994-2022)

The online symposium and workshop is dedicated to the developments of the opera market in South Africa since democratisation, with a special focus on globalisation. It follows up on the symposium South African Opera Productions after the Apartheid at the University of Bayreuth in 2018.


Thursday, 12th May 2022
18.30: Panel Discussion with Jessica Nupen about her Dance|Rap|Opera The Nose (2021)

Friday, 13th May 2022
10.00: Welcome and Introduction
10.15-12.00: Panel 1: Opera Productions in and outside of South Africa

  • Dr. Melissa Gerber (University of Johannesburg, South Africa): Opera in Afrikaans, Again, or, Re-making a Genre in South Africa: The Cases of Poskantoor (2014) and Die Vertrek (2019)
  • Dr. Andrew Holden (Oxford Brookes University, UK) and Alessandro Talevi: Emerging from the Forest: Cape Town Opera’s Pandemic Hänsel and Gretel
  • Dr. Robert Fokkens (Cardiff University, UK): Introducing Bhekizizwe: Models and Approaches for Creating New Opera in South Africa and Beyond

12.30-13.30: Panel 2: Mapping the Working Situation of South African Opera Singers

  • M.A. Sakhiseni Joseph Yende (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa): A Perspective of Young Opera Graduates on their Working Situation in South African Opera Industry
  • B.A. Setsoane Jeannette Ntseki (University of Cape Town, South Africa): Employment in the South African Opera Industry: In search of Constructive Models to Create Sustainable Job Opportunities for Opera Singers/Musicians

13.30-14.30:  Panel 3: The South African Opera Voice in Discourse

  • Prof. Dr. Johann Buis (McGill University, Canada): Midas Touch Voice Teacher: The Making of International Opera Superstars in Post-Apartheid South Africa
  • M.A. Joshua Tolulope David (University of Toronto, Canada): More Than Voices: An Analysis of Vocal Models in Operatic Tradition in Africa

15.30-17.00: Panel 4: Developments of the South African Opera Landscape

  • Dr. Tinus Spies (University of Pretoria): The Gauteng Opera Scene 2012-2022: A Performer’s Perspective
  • Prof. Dr. Lena van der Hoven (Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, University of Bern): The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Pre-Existing Precarity of South Africa’s Opera Scene
  • Dr. Donato Somma (Witwatersrand University, South Africa): The Changing Appetites for Opera in Post-Apartheid SA 

17.00-17.30: Final Discussion

Please register for the panel discussion on the 12th May as well as for the symposium on the 13th May by contacting and you will receive an email with the Zoom-link for the event.

Timezone: MESZ, UTC + 2h


Operetta Concert

Framed by the presentations starting on Wednesday and ending on Friday, there is an Operetta Concert taking place on Thursday night. Don't miss!

Thursday, September 15, 18h30 in Room 120, Mittelstrasse 43, Bern