Sandra de Villiers

Sandra de Villiers

Chief Executive : Opera Africa
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 652381 Benmore 2010 South Africa
+27 (0)11 883 4189
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Sandra de Villiers is the chief executive of Opera Africa, a company renowned locally and internationally for innovativeness and artistic excellence. She studied at the University of Stellenbosch and continued post-graduate studies in Lieder, Opera and Oratorio at the famous Mozarteum (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellenden Kunst) Salzburg, Austria. Opting for a teaching career, she joined the music department of Technikon Natal in 1979 where she headed the first opera school in KwaZulu Natal that soon flourished and featured regular student productions.

Supported by a pro-active board, de Villiers started the production company Opera Africa in Durban during 1994 with a vision of addressing new audiences that were formerly excluded, and to promote talented young soloists and choristers.  Opera Africa staged numerous productions at the Playhouse Opera such as Mozart’s Magic Flute, Carmen (Bizet)and Faust (Gounod) that also toured to Gauteng, Free State and to rural areas in KwaZulu Natal.

Believing that an African opera genre is essential, de Villiers initiated the first Zulu opera Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu based on the life of a legendary 19th century Zulu Princess. An opera that was to grip the imagination of local and international audiences and draw praise from critics.  In 1997 she received an FNB Vita Award for her contribution to opera in South Africa and recognition from Classic FM as one of the leading women in the field of SA Arts.

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