Makudu Senaoana

Makudu Senaoana

South African tenor Makudu Senaoana is steadily making his mark throughout Europe and North America as a gifted and versatile performer. In the previous season, Makudu made his debut with the Dutch National Opera: in the world premiere of Anansi by South African composer Neo Muyanga, and the opera house’s Celebrating Diversity: Black Achievement Month. Senaoana also performed as 2nd Jew in Salome with Tulsa Opera. 

Senaoana makes a return to the Dutch National Opera this season for their Be Opera project, and will feature largely in Opera Ithaca’s festival, performing in their productions of Nabucco (Ismaele), Highway 1, USA (Nate), and Proving Up (Miles Zegner). Senaoana enjoys a close relationship with director William Kentridge, with whom he will tour South Africa and the East Coast of the USA in performances of The Head and the Load, a genre-defying experience centered around Africans in WWI, initially commissioned in part by the Park Avenue Armory.

 

Calendar

Event Date
Nov 3
to
Nov 6
Nabucco
Ismaele
Opera Ithaca Festival
Ithaca, NY
Nov 3
to
Nov 6
Proving Up
Miles Zegner
Opera Ithaca Festival
Ithaca, NY
Nov 3
to
Nov 6
Highway 1, USA
Nate
Opera Ithaca Festival
Ithaca, NY
Event Date
Dec 1
to
Dec 3
William Kentridge's The Head and the Load
Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts
Miami, FL
Event Date
Jan 19
to
Jan 22
William Kentridge's The Head and the Load
Schwarzman Center
Yale University
Event Date
Apr 21
to
May 6
William Kentridge's The Head and the Load
Joburg Theatre
Johannesburg, South Africa
Event Date
May 24
to
May 28
Be Opera
Dutch National Opera
Denmark

Artist Bio

South African tenor Makudu Senaoana is steadily making his mark throughout Europe and North America as a gifted and versatile performer. In the previous season, Makudu made his debut with the Dutch National Opera: in the world premiere of Anansi by South African composer Neo Muyanga, and the opera house’s Celebrating Diversity: Black Achievement Month. Senaoana also performed as 2nd Jew in Salome with Tulsa Opera. 

Senaoana makes a return to the Dutch National Opera this season for their Be Opera project, and will feature largely in Opera Ithaca’s festival, performing in their productions of Nabucco (Ismaele), Highway 1, USA (Nate), and Proving Up (Miles Zegner). Senaoana enjoys a close relationship with director William Kentridge, with whom he will tour South Africa and the East Coast of the USA in performances of The Head and the Load, a genre-defying experience centered around Africans in WWI, initially commissioned in part by the Park Avenue Armory.

Senaoana has performed extensively with Cape Town Opera, most recently in Monteverdi’s Vespers as well as a Gala concert, and has been heard in concert with the one and only Bryn Terfel with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the South African Wagner Society. While residing in Germany, he saw performances with both the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen and Theater Aachen as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Nathanaël in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims.

An alumnus of the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival, Senaoana debuted on the mainstage of Alice Busch Theater as Absalom Kumalo in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars whilst covering Le Chevalier Danois in Jean Baptiste Lully’s Armide. He also participated in Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and The Ravinia Festival’s Program for Singers at the Steans Music Institute. Senaoana has enjoyed considerable success in the competition circuit, having won the main prize and the Schubert song prize at “Voices of South Africa International Opera Competition, the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival’s “International Study Award,” the Olitalia/Rialto study award, and has also collected third prize in the 2020 editions of the Giovanni Consiglio International Competition, as well as the Operatic Grand Prix of Romania. 

Originally from Johannesburg, Makudu Senaoana is a graduate of the renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir School and the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town. There, he studied voice under the guidance of Hanna van Niekerk and Prof. Kamal Khan and his first operatic performances included the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with UCT Opera.

Updated August 28, 2022