Meet-the-Author: South African Opera Singer Musa Ngqungwana to Speak at Gulfshore Opera’s Community in Harmony Event

Inspirational event to feature “Elixir of Love” performer at Silverspot Cinema in The Mercato

Gulfshore Opera will present author, opera singer and inspirational speaker Musa Ngqungwana at a Meet-the-Author event as part of the Community in Harmony Initiative, on April 14, at 10 a.m. at Silverspot Cinema in The Mercato in Naples. Ngqungwana will speak about growing up in poverty in apartheid South Africa and his journey to become an opera singer. Ngqungwana is in Southwest Florida to perform the role of Dr. Dulcamara in Gulfshore Opera’s Elixir of Love to be held April 21 at Artis–Naples.

Bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana’s inspiring memoir, “Odyssey of an African Opera Singer: From Zwide Township to the World Stage,” chronicles his journey of overcoming the obstacles to sustain a world-class opera career. Ngqungwana grew up in Zwide Township in South Africa during and directly following the system of apartheid and segregation that existed there.

The book explains the following: How did a baby, born in 1984 in South Africa—the world’s most complicated system of segregation and apartheid, find his way to the great opera stages of Europe and the United States? How did a child, raised in poverty by his grandmother in Zwide Township, attain academic degrees in both
South Africa and the United States? What does it take for one boy—or any child—to overcome the debilitating effects of discrimination and impoverishment?

Ngqungwana’s memoir shows his journey of discovering classical music and opera, and how his perseverance and determination led him to the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, leading to winning the 2013 Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Ngqungwana’s engagements now take him to opera houses all over the country including the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Dallas Opera, and Palm Beach Opera, among others.

Join Musa Ngqungwana on his odyssey from poverty to recognition. His shared experience will rekindle hope that children, all children, no matter what their circumstance of birth, can be given the opportunity to claim their gifts, develop them, and use them to enrich the lives of others.

About the author:
Bass-Baritone Musa Ngqungwana has been praised by the New York Times for his “rich, glowing voice and elegant legato.” He is a native of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and a graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Since 2007 Ngqungwana’s vocal promise has been recognized far and wide–in 2014 he was nominated for the Marian Anderson Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Ngqungwana is also the 2014 winner of the Cesare Santeremo/Dr.Campbell Award from Opera Index in New York City and a third prize winner of the Giulio Gari and Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competitions. He was also the 2013 Grand Finals Winner of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

What: Odyssey of an African Opera Singer: From Zwide Township to the World Stage
When: Thursday, April 14: 10 a.m. motivational/autobiographical speech. 11 a.m. book signing, coffee and pastries in the Cafe
Where: Silverspot Cinema in The Mercato, 9118 Strada Place, Suite 8205, Naples, Florida
Tickets: Tickets $15

To purchase tickets and for more information about the Meet-the-Author event or the Elixir of Love performance, please visit www.gulfshoreopera.org or call 239.529.3925.

About Gulfshore Opera
Celebrating its second season, Gulfshore Opera is a regional opera company founded with core values of a community based creative collaboration. Serving Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties, it seeks to enrich the community by presenting high quality opera-theater and classical vocal music, and promotes community well-being through musical education programs. Its mission is to make opera accessible to the general public by maintaining affordable ticket prices and a wide range of performance experiences suitable for diverse audiences. Gulfshore Opera was founded in 2014 by Steffanie Pearce, who brings 30 years of experience in the field of opera. She is a producer, director, performer, and teacher of the great art form, and has performed around the world.