Luvo Maranti in front of the Abagold Choir.

The career path of a young graduate from Hermanus was changed after attending a masterclass in voice training at last year’s FynArts.

Luvo Maranti, then a Human Resources intern at Abagold, attended the masterclass, presented by George Stevens, then acting head of the Opera School at the University of Cape Town.

Luvo’s love of music and singing started as a young boy when he sang in the choir of the Old Apostolic Church in Port Elizabeth under the baton of his father, a composer of gospel music, as was his grandfather. While school presented no opportunities for singing, so Luvo joined the choir at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape town of Alice which took first place for four consecutive years at the annual eisteddfod of the South African Tertiary Institutions Choral Association (SATICA).

After graduating with a degree in Human Resources in 2017, he applied to become an intern at Abagold. On his application, he wrote that he loved music. It did not take Human Resources Director, Lou-Anne Lubbe, long to ask Luvo to conduct the Abagold Choir.

At the masterclass, George was so impressed with Luvo’s untrained voice that he offered to arrange for him to have an audition for the 2019 student intake for the Opera School.

“Following the unexpected death of George shortly after FynArts, I was directed to a voice trainer at UCT who followed up on the audition date and agreed to provide one voice-training lesson for Luvo just before the audition – as George had promised he would do,” says FynArts Director Mary Faure.

Singing for pleasure is one thing, but studying to become an opera singer was something completely different. Luvo’s parents were not happy and he dropped the idea. ”After all,” he said, “I live with them, and I respect their wishes. I am an obedient son.”

However, once the date for the audition was set and his parents saw that a singing career was where his heart really lay, they relented and drove him to Cape Town for the audition.

At the beginning of the year, Luvo was accepted for an honours degree in Industrial Psychology and to study at the Opera School. With the encouragement of Lou-Anne to follow his heart and the support of his proud parents, Luvo’s dream has come true. He is a full-time foundation student at the prestigious Opera School, studying under Prof Virginia Davids. “She is a wonderful woman,” says Luvo. ”So kind and she helps me a lot.”

Luvo speaks with excitement and determination about the long road ahead. But it is not easy. Funding is usually only granted once students have passed their first year. If anyone would like more information or is able to assist Luvo in any way, please contact Mary Faure on 084 600 7058.

The seventh Hermanus FynArts will be held this year from 7 to 17 June. The full programme of exhibitions, music, theatre, dance, talks, workshops, demonstrations, tastings and children’s events is on hermanusfynarts.co.za. Tickets can be purchased online at webtickets.co.za or hermanusfynarts.co.za. Bookings can also be made at the Tourism Office in the Station Building or by calling 060 957 5371.

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