Defying the odds
Praised for his “chilling refinement in bearing and voice” (Opera Wire), Thandolwethu Mamba has been described as having a “magnificent voice” and “possessing an extraordinary capacity for timbral flexibility, which he exploits with a level of artistic maturity and musical tact that belies his age” (Classical Voice of North Carolina). A singing actor of outstanding vocal and stagecraft ability, Mr. Mamba is an upcoming baritone who continues to establish himself on opera and concert stages nationwide, showcasing his command of diverse styles and repertoire.
Recent roles have included the title roles in Le Nozze di Figaro and Gianni Schicchi, as well as Dancaïro in Carmen, Don Calogero Sedàra in The Leopard (a world premiere), Town Magistrate in Signor Deluso, and Max in Stone Soup with Frost Opera Theater, Si parla, si canta, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Florida Grand Opera. The rest of his 2022-23 season featured a series of solo recitals in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and will round off with a role and house debut as Barone Duophol (Giorgio Germont Cover) in La Traviata with Opera Wilmington.
Performances in Tosca, Così fan tutte (Don Alfonso cover), Treemonisha (Zodzetrick/Luddud cover), and Susannah amongst other engagements as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis were unfortunately stifled by delays in federal work authorization documents.
As an artist who always seeks to create experiences that will reach a diverse audience, his concert program with pianist David Heid, Paths & Journeys, debuted in North Carolina in the Fall of 2022 and was described as “a vibrant and enriching collaboration” (CVNC). He regularly features music from diverse cultures and languages, including music from Sub-Saharan Africa and his home country, Eswatini. At the conclusion of his undergraduate career at Duke University, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Louis Sudler Prize as well as the Benenson Award for the Arts. Named the First Place and Grand Prize recipient of the 2022 Heafner/Williams Vocal Competition, Mr. Mamba is also a proud winner of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Rising Stars Competition, which led to his orchestral debut in Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer).
Mamba is a recent double graduate (Artist Diploma and Master of Music) of the Frost School of Music in Miami where he studied with baritone Kim Josephson.
Thando, as he is more commonly known, is originally from Eswatini in Southern Africa and is committed to developing the growth of opera as a celebrated and sustainable art form in his home country and the continent of Africa.