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“Of the soloists, the star was undoubtedly the South African baritone Njabulo Madlala, singing Elijah, whose voice has a wonderful consistency through its register – even for the floated top notes. It is authoritative yet warm, and it imparted a special tingle to Elijah’s more introspective arias”Elijah, Mendelssohn Elijah, The City of London Choir & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cond. Hilary Davan Wetton 2018 - Barry Creasy, MusicOMH
“It’s worth pointing out that South African singers took no fewer than five character parts, and they all excelled – whether Nozuko Teto’s strawberry seller or Njabulo Madlala’s Jim.”Jim, Porgy and Bess, English National Opera 2018 - Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk
“Njabulo Madlala made for a convivial and dapper Schaunard. Madlala has natural stage presence and engaging style...”Schunard, La Boheme, English Touring Opera, 2015 - Charlote Valori, Bachtrack
“His rich authoritative tones were impressive and he has the makings of a first class singer.”Bartolomeo, Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, English Touring Opera 2015 - Howard Shepherdson, Limelight Magazine
“baritone Njabulo Madlala, (who) superbly recounted Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom in South Africa.”Soloist, Stemmer (Voices & Votes), Bergen National Opera 2014 - Susan Nickalls, The Financial Times
“This is a slightly unlikely, but highly imaginative disc. The different songs on it are linked by Madlala's personality, commitment, beautiful voice and the finely intelligent performances.”Songs of Home (Champs Hill Records), 2013 William Vann piano - Planet Hugill
“That moment of rapt silence and attention, when an audience is entirely transfixed by a musician’s artistry, is rare at the best of times — let alone in the middle of a competition. But it happened in the finals of this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards, when the South African baritone, Njabulo Madlala, riveted every listener in the hall with his musical storytelling in Schumann’s dramatic ballad, Belsazar. The 28-year-old’s imagination created a gripping and growing sense of menace; and when he cried “Ich bin der König von Babylon”, the walls of the Wigmore Hall shook with terror. He would have taken first prize for this alone. But there was more. Madlala was equally at home in Butterworth’s Bredon Hill and in an aria from Bellini’s I Puritani that revealed the rich velvet plush of his fearless voice, its inner warmth and its flexibility.”Kathleen Ferrier Competition, Wigmore Hall, 2010 - The Times
Baritone Njabulo Madlala was born in Durban, South Africa. In 2002 he won a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for graduate and postgraduate studies. He went on to study at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill. Additionally, Njabulo has been a Britten Pears Young Artist, a Samling Artist and a young artist at the Ravinia International Festival in the USA. Among other prestigious awards, Njabulo is the winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award.
Highlights in recent seasons include his main stage debut at the Royal Opera House in Shostakovich’s The Nose; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra; Schaunard La bohème and Bartolomeo Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo both for English Touring Opera; and his Norwegian debut in Orlando Gough’s Voices and Votes for the Bergen National Opera.
Much in demand on the opera stage, roles include Don Giovanni, Don Fernando Fidelio, Bello La fanciulla del West and Schaunard La bohème; Whale and Elephant How the Whale Became and Master of the Thames Boat Heart of Darkness; Kammersinger Intermezzo; Peachum The Threepenny Opera; Scarpia Tosca; Rangwan in Delius’s Koanga; Don Giulio in Rossini’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo; Mel in Tippett’s The Knot Garden; Escamillo and Moralès Carmen; and Porgy Porgy and Bess.
In recital Njabulo has performed with Roger Vignoles (Cambridge Festival and Lugo Festival in Spain), Julius Drake (Mananan Festival), Williams Vann (Oxford Lieder Festival & Ripon International Festival), Simon Lepper (Wigmore Hall Monday Concert Series and Buxton Festival), Llŷr Williams (Gower Festival) and with James Baillieu (Lake District Music Festival). His debut CD Songs of Homewas released in autumn 2013 on the Champs Hill Records label.
Concert highlights include Mozart Requiem (English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski); Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Belshazzar’s Feast at the Three Choirs Festival (Philharmonia Orchestra) and Royal Festival Hall (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Messiah (Philharmonia Orchestra); Elijah at the Snape Maltings; J. S. Bach Ich habe genug (Ten Tors Orchestra); Dido and Aeneas at (Wimbledon International Music Festival); and concerts with the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under Arjan Tien and Richard Cock.
In the current season Njabulo performs Jim Porgy and Bess (English National Opera and Dutch National Opera). Later in the season he performs Aeneas in Dido, a new co-production between English National Opera and the Unicorn Theatre as well as Dream of Gerontius and the Mozart Coronation Mass and Requiem.
For Oratorio and Concert repertoire please scroll down:
|Oratorio and concert rep|
|Bach J.S.||B Minor Mass|
|Cantatas BWV 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 30, 62, 82, 129, 131, 140, 159, 178|
|St John Passion BWV 244|
|St John Passion BWV 245 Bass, Christus, Pilate|
|Beethoven||Christus am Olberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives)|
|Mass in C Major|
|Symphony No 9 (Choral Symphony)|
|Brahms||Ein Deutsches Requiem|
|Britten||A Ceremony of Carols|
|Rejoice in the Lamb|
|Gounod||Messe Solennelle de Saint Cecile|
|Elgar||The Dream of Gerontius|
|Mahler||Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen|
|Purcell||Dido and Aeneas|