From a small-town girl hailing from Mbizana in the Eastern Cape to an international Opera success, Nozuko Teto has graced stages around the world.
Nozuko first made her professional debut in 2011 in the title role of Suor Angelica(Cape Town Opera), and during 2011/12 sang in various concerts at the Teatro Comunale L. Pavarotti, Modena with the Puccini Festival Orchestra, and in Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra. In 2015/16 she won the role of Mimì La bohèmeat the ‘Toti Dal Monte’ Competition in Treviso, and later toured Italy receiving great reviews.
“Singing has always been a part of my life. From singing around the fireplace with my 7 siblings, to forming gospel groups with my neighbors where we sang in funerals, to secondary and high school choir experiences”.
Once Nozuko discovered her love for Opera there was no turning back. “Mr Dumela, my secondary and high school choir conductor would not take no for an answer; he walked the path with me through to university in 2003. He shared the potential he saw in me with the late Dr. K. K. Stofile (a Medical doctor from Mbizana and an adult choir conductor),” says Nozuko. “They did all they could to expose the students who were gifted to as many opportunities as possible”.
While Opera is embraced the world-over, in South Africa Nozuko has had very little exposure which has ultimately led her to build her brand and pursue her passion overseas. “The love for Opera overseas is unlike anything that I have ever experienced before. It truly takes you places. My home base and first love is South Africa and I spend most of my time off-season in KwaZulu Natal; I’ve realised that I can be based in South Africa and still achieve maximum exposure as a global brand” she explains.
Nozuko does however believe that Opera is increasing in popularity in South Africa and that the elitist stigma around it is slowly falling away. “I initially believed that there was absolutely no chance of earning a living through music performance in South Africa, until I explored the entrepreneurial route and started seeing myself as a brand worth selling”.
Her company, Adesso Enterprises (Pty) Ltd is a powerful business platform which looks to create opportunity not only for Nozuko but for those around her too. “My purpose is to change lives through music, motivational talks and master classes”.
Believing that success is best enjoyed when shared with others, Nozuko looks to uplift, inspire and instil confidence in talented youths and will be working alongside some well-known local performers to scour impoverished areas in search of raw, untapped talent. “We will initially kick-off in KwaZulu Natal, visiting areas such as Albert Park, Clermont and LaMontville. We are looking for youths aged between 14 – 25 who possess raw singing and performing power” Nozuko explains.
“We want to provide them with a safe space where they feel empowered to perform. We want to refocus their efforts on something positive and provide them with a platform which could potentially propel their careers” she says.
In addition, Nozuko will be hosting an intimate Gala Concert on 26 April 2019 in Durban. This interactive event will reintroduce Opera fans and music aficionados to Nozuko Teto, and the proceeds will go to the Opera Clinic. “We need to put together school packs for our performers as well as food packs for them to consume during their training sessions with us. We urge any potential sponsors to please come forward and to help us give these students and Opera in SA a voice again.”