“It is South African tenor Zwakele Tshabalala who demonstrated a properly huge voice, as Hot Biscuit Slim”
(Seen and Heard, May 2019)
This season South African tenor Zwakele Tshabalala comes to the Royal College of Music, London to study for his degree as a Master of Performance, for which he’s awarded a full scholarship. His recent performances as Hot Biscuit Slim in English National Opera’s critically acclaimed Paul Bunyan at Alexandra Palace highlighted him as a standout soloist and a young talent to watch.
Born in South Africa, Zwakele left home at a young age to join the Drakensberg Boys Choir and was then a member of the South African Youth Choir in 2009. An invitation to join the South African College of Music followed in 2012, where he studied for a performance diploma in opera under the supervision of Virginia Davids and Khamal Khan. Zwakele made his operatic debut at the opera school, as Giuseppe in La traviata in 2013, and in 2016 was the winner of The Schock Foundation Prize for Singing at the University of Cape Town.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t be stirred… when the ringing tenor of Zwakele Tshabalala enters as the loggers’ new cook.”
The Times, May 2019
“Two soloists stand out from the pack… Zwakele Tshabalala bursting with energy as the dashing cook Hot Biscuit Slim.”
Bachtrack, May 2019
“but it is South African tenor Zwakele Tschabalala who demonstrated a properly huge voice, as Hot Biscuit Slim. The pairing of Tshabalala and Rowan Pierce (as Tiny, Paul Bunyan’s daughter), was inspired casting.”
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