Biography

1473616896612 500Leah holds a Masters of Music (MMus) degree specialising in Opera (Performance and Dissertation), under Prof. Virginia Davids and Prof. Hendrik Hofmeyr at the University of Cape Town Opera School (South African College of Music) in 2019.

She is the only South African to be selected as one of 24 International semi-finalists to participate in The Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition June 2018 in Hong Kong and she was invited by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for a masterclass.

Leah is a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nominee in the category for the best performance – Female – in an opera for the role of Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte (W.A. Mozart) that she performed in November and December (2017) at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.

Leah recently sang the role of Hanna in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe at the Cape Town Suidoosterfees in the Artscape Opera House in April 2019. She sang the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata at the Johannesburg Theatre in June 2019.

Leah recently sang the roles of Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte as part of the Opera in Darling initiative in Johannesburg, the role of Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust in the Pretoria State Theatre and the role of Countess Rosina Almaviva with Tshwane University of Technology (Opera) in their production of Le Nozze di Figaro (W.A. Mozart).

Leah was a semi-finalist in the Voices of South Africa Trust Competition in Cape Town (2017) and she participated in the 6th UNISA International Voice Competition in Pretoria (2018).

In 2017 Leah was the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Maestro Alexander Fokkens conducting and she sang the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Maestro Alexander Fokkens conducting. In the 2nd UNISA National Voice Competition held from 8-15 July 2017 at UNISA in Pretoria, Leah was one of the six semi-finalists and she won the Opera prize for the best interpretation of an Opera aria. She was invited as one of 43 singers worldwide to audition for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in Hamburg, Germany. Leah performed as soprano soloist with visiting German conductor Bernhard Gueller with the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra on 23 August 2016 in the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town. She performed the operetta aria “Meine Lippen, sie küβen so heiβ” from Giuditta by Franz Lehár. In 2017 Leah performed the role of Clorinda from La Cenerentola (G. Rossini) in the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town in September.

Bio: Read More

In 2016, Leah was one of the 100 contestants in the 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition hosted in Cape Town South Africa in July. Leah recently performed at the Darling Music Festival in the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart) where she played the role of Blondchen. In May 2016, she gave a solo performance at the Greyton Classical Music Festival. In March 2016, Leah was the soloist soprano at Last Night at the Proms in Cape Town City Hall with Richard Cock conducting. Leah was invited as one of 15 international opera singers to attend the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie held in Neumarkt (Germany) in July – August 2016. At the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie she worked with and had masterclasses with acclaimed directors, conductors, orchestras and coaches.

In May 2015, she sang the role of Violetta in La traviata (Verdi) performed at the Artscape Opera House. In October 2015 Leah was the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in Johannesburg with the Symphony choir of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra with Achim Zimmermann as the conductor. Leah performed the role of Older Bessie in one of the new Four:30 Operas made in South Africa - Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa at the Artscape Theatre in November 2015.

In June 2014 she sang the role of Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites and the role of Contessa di Folleville in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims. In October 2014, she performed as soloist with the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra under conductor Arjan Tien with the aria “Ah! non credea mirarti...Ah! non giunge” from La sonnambula (Bellini). In July 2014, she was the soloist in Gebed om die Gebeente (Prayer for the Bones), Chamber cantata for soprano, flute, cello and piano, composed by Hendrik Hofmeyr. In November 2014, Leah won The Schock Foundation Prize at UCT for the best female vocalist. She is an experienced performer and is often asked to perform at a wide variety of social functions.

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Stellenbosch and obtained her Bachelor of Music Degree (BMus) Cum Laude in 2013. In the same year, she attended Master classes with international acclaimed tenor Kobie van Rensburg, and she was awarded a number of bursaries as an undergraduate, and was also the first first-year student to win the Mabel Quick Singing Competition. In 2013, she achieved 90% in the UNISA Grade 8 Singing examination. She has appeared as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas under the direction of international mezzo-soprano, Michelle Breedt, and as soloist in Mendelssohn’s Hör mein Bitten, Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Coronation Anthem and Schubert’s Mass in A-flat Major.

Leah was a finalist in the 2011 Muziqanto Singing Competition, the 2012 FMR/Pick 'n Pay Music Competition, and the 2012 National Grahamstown Music Competition, where she won overall second prize and she won the award for Best Vocalist. Furthermore, during the rest of her school career, she won the best female vocalist cup for twelve consecutive years (1998-2010) at the Stellenbosch Eistedfodd. She also received numerous awards for the Dramatic Arts and is an accomplished actress.

Leah Gunter has always had a burning passion for the performing arts and already started her singing career at the age of nine when she sang in the production – The Mysteries – that took place at Spier and directed by acclaimed Mark Donford-May.

Opera Performances

 

Violetta La traviata Joburg Theatre 2019
Hanna Die lustige Witwe Artscape Opera House Cape Town 2019
Fiordiligi Così fan Tutte Johannesburg 2019
Marguerite Faust Pretoria State Theatre 2018
Countess Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro Pretoria 2018
Königin der Nacht Die Zauberflöte Artscape Opera House Cape Town 2017
Clorinda La Cenerentola Baxter Concert Hall Cape Town 2017
Blondchen Die Entführung aus dem Serail The Diaz Festival 2017
Blondchen Die Entführung aus dem Serail Darling Music Experience 2017
Frasquita Carmen Artscape Opera House Cape Town 2016
Blondchen- Die Entführung aus dem Serail Darling Music Festival 2016
Bessie Bessie – The Blue-Eyed Xhosa Artscape Theatre Cape Town 2015
Violetta La traviata Artscape Opera House Cape Town 2015
Contessa di Folleville Il Viaggio a Reims Baxter Theatre Hall Cape Town 2014
Madame Lidoine Dialogues of the Carmelites Baxter Concert Hall Cape Town 2014
Dido Dido and Aeneas Fismer Hall Stellenbosch 2013
✽ Upcoming

Concerts & Recital Work

Soprano soloist Mozart: Mass in C Minor Christ Church Constantia 2018
Soprano soloist Handel: Messiah St. George’s Cathedral Cape Town 2017
Soprano soloist Orchestra Showcase Baxter Concert Hall Cape Town 2016
Soprano soloist Last Night at the Proms Cape Town City Hall 2016
Soprano soloist Greyton Music Festival South Africa 2016
Soprano soloist Beethoven Missa Solemnis Johannesburg Festival Orchestra 2015
Soprano soloist Prayer for the Bones, Cantata Baxter Theatre Hall Cape Town 2014
Soprano soloist Orchestra Showcase Baxter Concert Hall Cape Town 2014
Soprano soloist Mendelssohn: Hör mein Bitten Stellenbosch Endler Hall 2013
Soprano soloist Saint-Saëns: Christmas Oratorio Stellenbosch Endler Hall 2013
Soprano soloist Handel: Coronation Anthem Stellenbosch Endler Hall 2013
Soprano soloist Schubert: Mass in A-flat Major Stellenbosch Endler Hall 2013

Musicals

Ida HONK Stellenbosch 2008
Chorus (Soprano) West Side Story Stellenbosch 2005
Angel Chorus (Soprano) The Mysteries Spier Stellenbosch 2000

Recordings

Click here    to listen to Audio Recordings

Soprano soloist Orchestra Showcase Baxter Concert Hall Cape Town 2014

Awards & Competitions

Contestant 6th UNISA International Voice Competition  Pretoria 2018
Semi-Finalist ATKV Muziqanto Competition Cape Town 2016
Nominee for best performance in an Opera - Female Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards Cape Town 2018
Semi-finalist Hong Kong International Opera Competition Hong Kong 2018
Semi-finalist Voices of South Africa Trust Competition  Cape Town 2018
One of the six semi-finalists and overall winner of the Opera prize 2nd UNISA National Voice Competition Pretoria 2017
One of 100 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition  Cape Town
2016
Third Round BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition Hamburg, Germany 2016
Semi-Finalist ATKV Muziqanto Competition Cape Town 2014
1st place – Best Female Vocalist Schock Foundation Prize Cape Town 2014
90% in the UNISA Grade 8 Singing Examination National examination  Cape Town
2013
Second Place National Grahamstown Competition South Africa 2012
Second Place FMR/Pick ´n Pay Music Cape Town 2012
Finalist ATKV Muziqanto Competition Cape Town 2011
Winner
and Grant winner
Mabel Quick Singing Competition Stellenbosch 2010
Grant Winner Graham Beck Foundation Bursary Stellenbosch 2010

Education & Training

Masters of Music University of Cape Town 2015 - 2019
First Year Post Graduate Diploma University of Cape Town 2014
Bachelor of Music Degree, Cum Laude University of Stellenbosch 2010 - 2013
Bloemhof Girls High School Matric: Six distinctions 2009

Conductors | Directors | Orchestras

Conductors

Gerben Grooten

Thami Zungu

Schalk van der Merwe

Richard Cock

Alexander Fokkens

Bernhard Gueller

Kamal Khan

Jochen Rieder

Arjan Tien

Achim Zimmermann

Michael Hofstetter

Directors

Pierre du Toit

Claudia Blersch

Ian Burnside

Christine Crouse

Marcus Desando

Angelo Gobbato

Matthew Wild

Mark Donford-May

Craig Terry

Stephen Wadsworth

Magdalene Minnaar

Orchestras

Pretoria Symphony Orchestra

The Capital Orchestra

Cape Town University – Symphony Orchestra

Johannesburg Festival – Orchestra

Stellenbosch University - Symphony Orchestra

Nuremberg Symphoniker

Coaches and Master Classes

Marcelo Amaral

Michelle Breedt

Brigitte Fassbaender

Matthew Horner

Stephen King

Victoria Newly

Lori Schiff

Loretta Trinei

Tobias Truniger

Pierre Vallet

Edith Wiens

Armin Zanner

Brian Zeger

Summary of Skills

  • Acting (Drama and Comedy)
  • Dancing – Tap dancing, Belly dancing, Modern dancing and Hip hop dancing
  • Impersonations
  • Played the role of an Opera singer in a commercial advertisement for Lexus with Rocket Films studios in Cape Town South Africa

Languages

 

Afrikaans - native speaker

English - native speaker

French - fluent

German - basic 

Repertoire

Repertoire List

W.A. Mozart

 Fiordiligi – Entire role  Così fan tutte
 Countess Almaviva – Entire role  Le Nozze di Figaro
 Martern aller arten  Die Entführung aus dem serail
 Königin der Nacht – Entire role  Die Zauberflöte
 Ach, ich fühl’s  Die Zauberflöte
 Complete work  Exultate Jubilate
 Or sai chi l’onore  Don Giovanni

 

G.F Händel

Tornami a vagheggiar Alcina
Da tempeste il legno infranto Giulio Cesare
Let the bright Seraphim Samson
The Messiah Complete work

 

G. Verdi

Caro nome Rigoletto
Violetta – Entire role La traviata

 

V. Bellini

Care compagne…come per me sereno La sonnambula
Ah! non credea mirarti…Ah! non giunge La sonnambula
Casta diva…Ah bello a me ritorna Norma
Qui la voce…Vien diletto, è in ciel la luna I puritani
Mad scene Il pirata

 

G. Donizetti

Lucia – Entire role Lucia di Lammermoor
Ah! tardai troppo…O luce di quest’anima Linda di Chamounix

 

G. Rossini

Bel raggio lusinghier Semiramide
Contessa di Folleville – Entire role Il viaggio a Reims
Non più mesta La cenerentola

 

G. Puccini

Quando me’n vo La Bohème
In quelle trine morbide Manon Lescaut
O mio babbino caro Gianni Schicchi
Vissi d’arte Tosca
Sì, mi chiamano Mimì La Bohème

 

H. Purcell

Dido – Entire role Dido and Aeneas

Operetta Arias

Klänge der Heimat J. Strauss II Die Fledermaus
Mein herr Marquis J. Strauss II Die Fledermaus
So elend und so treu J. Strauss II Der Zigeunerbaron
Heiha heiha, in den Bergen E. Kálmán Die Czárdasfürstin
Höre ich Zigeunergeigen E. Kálmán Gräfin Mariza
Ich möcht’ wieder einmal die Heimat seh’n F. Lehár Land des Lächelns
Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß F. Lehár Giuditta
Entire role F. Lehár Die lustige Witwe
Glitter and be gay L. Bernstein Candide

Other Opera Arias

Mĕsíčku na nebi hlubokém (Lied an den Mond) A. Dvořák Rusalka
Depuis le jour G. Charpentier Louise
Io son l’umile ancella F. Cilèa Adriana Lecouvreur
Je suis titania A. Thomas Mignon
Doll Song J. Offenbach Tales of Hoffmann
I can smell the sea air A. Previn A Streetcar named desire
Sposa son disprezzata G. Giacomelli La Merope
Map of our hearts – Entire role A. Mouyis Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa
Madame Lidoine – Entire role F. Poulenc Dialogues of the Carmelites
Marguerite – Entire role C. Gounod Faust
Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante G. Bizet Carmen
Dich teure Halle R. Wagner Tannhäuser
Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante G. Bizet Carmen
Leise, leise C.M. von Weber Der Freischütz
Und ob die Wole sie verhülle C.M. von Weber Der Freischütz
Ebben! Ne andrò lontana A. Catalani La Wally
Elle a fui, la tourterelle J. Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Lieder, Arie Antiche and Songs

Cäcilie R. Strauss
Allerseelen R. Strauss
Beim Schlafengehen R. Strauss
Zueignung R. Strauss
Wiegenlied R. Strauss
Schlagende Herzen R. Strauss
Ständchen R. Strauss
Amor R. Strauss
Oh quand je dors F. Liszt
Die Loreley F. Liszt
Enfant, si j’étais roi F. Liszt
Du bist wie eine Blume F. Liszt
Gretchen am spinnrade F. Schubert
Nacht und träume F. Schubert
Der musensohn F. Schubert
Die liebe hat gelogen F. Schubert
Die junge nonne F. Schubert
Mein gläubiges herze J.S. Bach
Bist du bei mir J.S. Bach
Nachtigall J. Brahms
Immer leiser wird mein schlummer J. Brahms
Vergebliches ständchen J. Brahms
Widmung R. Schumann
Koud is die wind A. Van Wyk
Van liefde en verlatenheid A. Van Wyk
Vier weemoedige liedjies A. Van Wyk
Eerste winterdag A. Van Wyk
Vaalvalk A. Van Wyk
Met skemering A. Van Wyk
Liebeslied A. Van Wyk
Heimwee S. Le Roux Marais
Geboorte van die Lente S. Le Roux Marais
Rooidag S. Le Roux Marais
Oktobermaand S. Le Roux Marais
Gebed om die gebeente H. Hofmeyr
What was said H. Hofmeyr
Ons liefde is `n uur se ydelheid H. Hofmeyr
The broken string H. Hofmeyr
Il mio ben quando verrà G. Paisiello
Nel cor più non mi sento G. Paisiello
Ridente la calma W.A. Mozart
Als Luise die briefe W.A. Mozart
June R. Quilter
Dream Valley R. Quilter
Love went A-Riding F. Bridge
Il mio bel foco…quella fiamma B. Marcello
Ch’io mai vi possa G. F. Handel
Après un rêve G. Fauré
Hexenleid F. Mendelssohn
My siel is siek van heimwee P.J. Lemmer
Boerneef siklus Boerneef
Sing, joyous bird M.F. Phillips
Mausfallen Sprüchlein H. Wolf
Winternag P. Klatzow
The soldier’s wife S.V. Rachmaninoff
See-sonnet P. de Villiers
Winternag R. Nepgen
When Daisies Pied T.A. Arne
Vaga luna V. Bellini
Guten Morgen E. Grieg
Ogni pena più spietata G.B. Pergolesi
Romance C. Debussy
The last rose of summer G. Gilpin
I could have danced all night F. Loewe
The hills are alive R. Rodgers
Le violette A. Scarlatti
Tea for two V. Youmans

 

Follow Leah Cathleen Gunter