The following scholars are American, African, European, and South American students whose study at SMU was made possible by special gifts from the Rae and Ed Schollmaier Family Foundation from 2000 through 2010.
2001-2003: PATRICK TIKOLO received the BM from the University of Cape Town. Patrick was born in King Williams Town, the Eastern Cape area of South Africa where taught three years in the public schools. Patrick earned the Artist Certificate from SMU and taught in the DISD, the Allen School District and as an adjunct in the Collin County Community College System. He sings frequently at the Cape Town Opera and the Durban City Playhouse in South Africa. Professor Tikolo is presently the first black South African named to the tenured faculty of the School of Music at the University of Cape Town where he is Chair of Voice.
2001-2003: LIONEL MKHWANAZI received the BM from the University of Cape Town. He was born in Soweto, earned the Artist Certificate from SMU in 2003, and the MM in May 2005. Lionel made his American debut at the Shreveport Opera and is presently a member of the Cape Town Opera Company. He has served on the faculty of the University of Wittswatersrand in Johannesburg and is currently the first black hired on the faculty of the Music School at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, SA where he is Chair of Voice.
2000-2001: MARIA JOOSTE received the BM from the University of Cape Town. Born in Cape Town, she studied only one year at SMU in the Artist Program, completed the Juilliard Artist Program and the Washington, D.C. Opera Young Artist Program and is currently singing throughout the world.
2002-2004: BRONWEN FORBAY received the BM from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. A Fulbright Scholar born in Durban, Bronwen received the MM from the Manhattan School of Music in NYC, the Artist Certificate from SMU, and the DMA from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She has sung principal roles in Wolf Trap and in opera companies throughout the US, including Tulsa, Austin, and Cincinnati. She has performed the role of Queen of the Night in Magic Flute, Violetta in La Traviata and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor. Dr. Forbay served as Head of the School of Opera and Professor of voice at the University KwaZulu-Natal in Durban South Africa for two years before returning to America to join the voice faculty at Sam Houston State University in 2012. She resides in Waco, Texas with her husband, tenor and professor of voice at Baylor, Dr. Randall Umstead.
2002-2004: CONROY CUPIDO received the BM from Stellenbosch University just outside Cape Town and afterwards completed the opera honors post doctorate program at the University of Cape Town. Conroy earned Artist Certificate in 2004 and the MM in May 2006. He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas in May 2009 and is taught at the Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas before his appointment in 2010 to the faculty of North West University in Potchefstroom where he serves as Chair of Voice.
2002-2004: SIMPHIWE QAVANE completed the Opera Honors Diploma from the University of Cape Town and worked with the Cape Town Opera before starting the Artist Certificate program at SMU. A consummate artist and gifted actor, Simphiwe sang the title roles of Figaro and Porgy among the many roles he mastered during his study with Barbara Hill Moore at SMU. He received the Artist Certificate May 2004 and before starting the MM, Simphiwe passed away from complications of kidney disease on August 3, 2004.
2003-2005: OTTO MAIDI was a prison guard near Pretoria when he decided to apply to the AC program at SMU. He completed the Artist Certificate May 2005. A frequent artist with the Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban companies, Mr. Maidi has begun a distinguished career in opera, singing throughout Europe and Africa, including Germany, Spain, Austria and Sweden. He has received critical acclaim for his performances in the roles of Joe inShowboat at the Nürnberg Opera, the High Priest in Aida with the Opera Africa in Johannesburg, and he recently completed a highly celebrated run as Porgy in Covent Garden.
2003-2005: DERICK ELLIS was a policeman in Durban, SA. He earned the Artist Certificate from SMU and made his American opera debut with the Amarillo Opera Company. He is singing with the Cape Town Opera and with companies throughout Europe.
2003-2005: LUCRETIA GESWINT received her BM from the University of Port Elizabeth. She earned the Artist Certificate May 2005 and returned to the University of Port Elizabeth to complete the MM. She was named to the faculty there in 2007 and taught until 2012 when she with her husband and son to King Williams Town to continue teaching voice.
2004-2006: THANDULWAZI NCUBE received the BM from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. She received the Artist Certificate from SMU in May 2006 and began teaching in her native Durban, South Africa. She is presently a candidate for the MM from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and she continues to teach voice and music at a high school in Durban.n.
2004-2006: PHANDULWAZI MASETI received his Honors Diploma in Voice from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He earned the Artist Certificate from SMU and was a Young Artist in the Emerging Artist Program with the Dallas Opera and SMU 2006-2008. He sang in summer 2008 with the Martina Arroyo Opera Program in NYC and in the Young Artist in the Houston Ebony Opera project. Phandulwazi returned to South Africa and is presently singing with companies throughout South Africa and Europe.
2005-2006: EDMUNDAS SELIUS received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater. Edmundas has sung in opera and concert in Germany, Poland, France, Japan, and throughout Lithuania. He recently made his debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with the Amarillo Opera and is presently a member of the Vilnius Opera Company.
2005-2006: PHUMZILE THEO MAGONGOMA received the Opera Diploma with Honors from the University of Cape Town. He began the Artist Certificate study in 2005 but returned to South Africa to perform with the Cape Town Opera. He is currently the Director of Music Education and the Arts in the Easter Cape of South Africa.
2006-2008: CHRISTIAAN BESTER received the BM from Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria and the MM from SMU in May 2008. Christiaan held teaching positions in Highland Park, in Plano and in the Collin County Community College systems. He served three years as a Young Artist in the Dallas Opera outreach program and he earned the Artist Certificate in 2010 at the University of North Texas where he is currently a Teaching Assistant and candidate for the DMA in Voice in May 2014.
2007-2009: SELBY HLANGU received the BM in Opera from the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in Durban, and he completed the Artist Certificate at SMU in May 2009. Selby continues his singing in South Africa where he currently teaches voice in the J.G. Zuma High School in Durban and is a candidate to complete the Master of Music program at the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in 2014.
2007-2010: MHLABU’HLANGE BUTHELEZI received the BM in Music from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. He sang two seasons with the Fort Worth Opera chorus and the Dallas Opera chorus. In January 2010, Mhlaba sang the role of Allessandro in the SMU opera production of Il Re Pastore. Mhlaba earned the MM in May 2010 and returned to his native South Africa. He served as Adjunct faculty at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and as director of the Durban Choral Music program for three years. He is presently studying for the PhD in Music and is a member of the Voice Faculty at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria.
2009-2011: SILVIA NUŇEZ is a graduate of the University of Peru in Lima. She received the MM in voice from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and the second Masters in Voice Performance at SMU. She is currently in the Artist Certificate program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas Silvia has sung recitals throughout South America and has performed with the Ft. Worth Symphony, the Chicago Simphonia and the Lima Symphony.
2014-2017: LANGELIHLE MNGXATI, Bass Baritone
Langelihle Mngxati is a native of South Africa, born and educated in KwaZulu-Natal. He received the Bachelor of Arts in Voice from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. Mngxati obtained his first operatic role as a sophomore in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi as Simone. His oratorio repertoire includes performances of Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Missa Sanctae Caecilliae as a bass soloist. Mngxati began graduate study in the US in 2014 at Southern Methodist University with the Performance Diploma, earned in December 2016. He has performed the role of Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore and he will sing Melisso in Handel’s Alcina in February 2018. As one of the opera scholars in the Dallas Opera Outreach Program, Mngxati has performed the role of Belcore (2014) in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Colas (2015-2016) in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne and Vertigo (2017-2018) in Offenbach’s Pepito. He is a December 2017 candidate for the Masters in Voice from SMU.
2015-2018: NDUMISO NYOKA, Tenor
Ndumiso Nyoka was born in Ladysmith, South Africa. He received the Bachelor of Practical Music Degree with Honors from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban. During his study in South Africa, Ndumiso sang the roles of Gherardo in Puccini’ Gianni Schicchi, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Lt. Joseph Cable in Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific and Tony in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. During study for the Performer’s Diploma earned in May 2017 from Southern Methodist University, Ndumiso sang the role of Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and reprised the roles of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Tony in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. He performed the role of Renuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in Amalfi Italy in July 2017 and will sing Oronte in the 2018 Meadows Opera production of Handel’s Alcina. Ndumiso is honored to have participated in the opening 67-minute launch of the Nelson Mandela Day celebration in Paris on July 18, 2013. He is one of the Dallas Opera Outreach Program’s opera scholar since 2016 and sang the role of Bastien in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne through the 2016-2017 academic years and is currently singing Miguel in Offenbach’s Pepito through the 2017-2018 academic years. Ndumso is the 2016 First Place Winner of the Graduate Men’s Division of the TEXOMA Region Competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing and in November 2017 was named the TEXOMA NATS Artist Award winner. Ndumiso Nyoka is a 2019 candidate for the Master of Music in Voice Performance from SMU where he studies with Professor Barbara Hill Moore.
2016-2017: LAWRENCE MITCHELL-MATTHEWS, Baritone
Baritone Lawrence Mitchell-Matthews has sung with orchestras and opera companies throughout the Midwest, including the South Bend, Indiana Symphony, the Chautauqua, New York Symphony and others. Opera roles include Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasqulale, the title role of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and Demetrius from Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, Belcore in Donizetti’s Elixir of Love. Lawrence also performed in the world premiere of Opera As You Like It by Roger Steptoe based on the play by Shakespeare. He has won many prestigious competitions including First Prize, the Thomas Wilkins Young Artist of Tomorrow Award, named after the African American conductor in residence for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 2012 local Classical Singer competition in South Bend, numerous competitions sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) including Second Place in the 2016 Graduate Men’s Division of the Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico (TEXOMA) Region Competitions. Lawrence received the Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University at South Bend and is presently a 2018 candidate for the Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance from Southern Methodist University.
2016-2018: RICARDO CEBALLOS DE LA MORA, Bass
was born in Colima, Mexico and received a prestigious scholarship from the International Society of Mexican Artistic Values (SIVAM) to study music at the Instituto Universitario de Bellas Artes (IUBA, University of Fine Arts) under the tutelage of Enrique Patrón de Rueda. Ricardo was a finalist in the Concurso Internacional de Canto Sinaloa 2016 (International Voice Competition of Sinaloa) and winner of the “Colegio de Sinaloa” prize, as well as a Finalist in the 2016 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition. His opera roles include Il Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Mazatlan, Sinaloa; Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen with the Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado; Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi; Friar Laurence in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the 2016 Amalfi Coast Festival. He is very active in the Meadows Opera program, singing the role of Dulcamara in the 2017 production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and in 2018, Melisso in Handel’s Alcina. Ricardo is one of the opera scholars in the Dallas Opera Outreach Program and is covering the role of Vertigo (2017-2018) in Offenbach’s Pepito. He will sing in concerts in 2017 with the Plano Symphony and the San Angelo Symphony and Ricardo will sing in 2017 and 2018 in the Dallas Opera Orchestra Donizetti and Company concerts. Ricardo is a May 2018 candidate for the Performer’s Diploma in Voice in at Southern Methodist University.
2016-2017 ESEWU NOBELA, Tenor
Esewu Nobela was born in Witbank Mpumalanga where he went to high school and developed the love of music and singing. He earned the Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2012 and the Performer’s Diploma in 2013 from the University of Cape Town. During his study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Esewu won a number of competitions including 1st Prize in the First Year’s Competition in Italian. He was also cast in the roles of Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Rudolfo in La Boheme, Tony in West Side Story and Cetswayo in Ziyankomo composed by Phelelani Mnomiya. As a member of the Cape Town Opera Company, Esewu was cast as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni under the baton of Prof. Kamal Khan and directed by Mathews Wild, Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Jeremy Silver, directed by Christen Cruise, Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Jeremy Silver, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet under the baton of Kamal Khan, Man with Old Luggage in Postcard from Morocco under the baton of Phillip Brunelle and directed by Alan Swerdlow, Crap Man and Nelson in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Bordeaux, France under the baton of Tim Murray and Conte di liebenskof in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims under the baton of Kamal Khan. In 2015, Esewu also sang in performances of the Festival Internationale Opera Werkstatt in Basel, Bern, Sigriswil and Zürich, Switzerland.
2017-2019: ANGÉLICA MATA ESPARZA, Mezzo Soprano
ANGÉLICA MATA ESPARZA is from Sinaloa, Culiacan Mexico. She holds degrees in Technical studied of Choral Singing from the Escuela Superior de Musica de Sinaloa (ESUM-ISIC) and afterwards continued studies for the BM at the Escuela Superior de Musica of Bellas Artes in Mexico City where she studied in with Amelia Sierra. She is currently enrolled in the first semester of study in the Performers Diploma at SMU. Angélica has performed the role of Stephano in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the 2nd Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen. She was the 1st place Female Voice Winner of the 7th International Voice Competition of Sinaloa in 2015, won 2nd place at Maritza Aleman competition and she was also a Finalist of Carlo Morelli National Competition. Angélica is the Winner of the Marchande de journaux in the production of Les Mamelles di Tiresias by Francis Poulenc. She sang the contemporary opera Apoidea by José Miguel Delgado in 2015 and she is a fellow of the program SIVAM in Mexico City. In August 2016, Angélica made her international debut in recital at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, in Moscow Russia, and represented Mexico in the International Arts Festival entitled, Bringing Friends Together. In summer of 2017, Angélica sang the role of Gianetta in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and in November 2017, Angélica won First Place in the TEXOMA (Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico) Region Competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).