The young South African tenor Siyabonga Maqungo has joined the ensemble at Theater Chemitz at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, where in his first year he sang Alfred (“The Bat”), Tamino (“The “Fidelio”), Pong (“Turandot”) and Froh (“Rheingold”) among others. In autumn 2018 he made his debut at the Leipzig Opera as Conte Almaviva in “Il barbiere di Siviglia” and was re-invited for next season. In April 2019 the young tenor made his sensational debut als David in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin under Daniel Barenboim’s baton.
In 2019 he has also been nominated for “Young Singer of the Year” at the International Opera Awards. He was also awarded the 2nd Price at the International Opera Competition of Portofino.
Other highlights of 2018 included concerts with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra in the USA and South Africa and the tenor part of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” in Dresden, Leipzig, Johannesburg and Cape town with the Youth Orchestra of Saxonia. In 2017 he gave his celebrated debut as Tamino in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” at the Oper Burg Gars (Austria).
From 2015-2018 Siyabonga Maqungo was in the ensemble of the Staatstheater Meiningen, where he performed as Alfred (“The Bat”), Electrica (Thomas Adès: “Powder her face”), Arturo (“Lucia di Lammermoor”), Italian singer (“Capriccio” and “Der Rosenkavalier”), Count Almaviva (“Il Barbiere di Siviglia”), Ferrando (“Cosi fan tutte”) David (“Die Meistersinger von „Capriccio”), Brighella (“Ariadne auf Naxos”) and Walther von der Vogelweide (“Tannhäuser”).
Siyabonga’s concert repertoire also includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach, such as the St. John Passion (evangelist and tenor arias), the St. Matthew Passion (tenor arias), the Mass in G and numerous cantatas, Handel’s Messiah, numerous works by W.A. Mozart such as the Requiem or the Coronation Mass up to the Stabat Mater and the Petite messe solennelle by Rossini. The places of the performances included the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Brazil Sala in Sao Paulo, the China-Shanghai-Symphonie-Konzerthaus and the Musik- und Kongresshalle in Lübeck with conductors such as Rolf Beck, Phillippe Bach and Helmut Rilling.
Siyabonga earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of North West (Potchefstroom Camous), South Africa in the class of Dr. Conroy Cupido. He is a three-time winner of the NWU Singing Competition (2009-2011) and two-time winner of the Best Pukke Art Student (2012-2013). He also played Acis in Handel’s opera “Acis und Galatea” directed by Professor Kobie van Rensburg. With the conductor Richard Cock and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra Siyabonga regularly gives concerts all over South Africa.
Through the Mozart International Festival in Johannesburg in cooperation with Apollo Music Trust and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Siyabonga was awarded a scholarship in 2014 for two semesters to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. In the following year he was offered a Master’s degree at the university, which he then completed with Professor Josef Protschka with distinction. During his studies he played Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” and sang Bel Canto repertoire in a gala concert at the Gelsenkirchen Theatre.