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Njabulo Madlala

Winner of the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award South Africa, the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, of the Singers Section Final at the 2012 Royal Overseas League Competition, of the 2012 Lorna Viol Memorial Prize and Royal Overseas League Trophy for the Most Outstanding Musician From Overseas, the Sir John Manduell Award for an Outstanding South African Musician the Azuriales Festival Opera competition, Kenneth Loveland Gift Prize and of the 2012 Worshipful Company of Musicians Award, Njabulo Madlala is a South African born, British resident baritone.

Njabulo came to London in 2002 and studied on the undergraduate and post-graduate opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under teachers Robert Dean, Sarah Walker and Rudolf Piernay. Upon completing his studies at the Guildhall in 2010, Njabulo went on to the Cardiff International Academy of Voice under Dennis O'Neill. Njabulo Madlala has been a Britten Pears Young Artist, Ravinia Institute of the Arts at the Chicago Ravinia Festival and a Samling Foundation Scholar led by Sir Thomas Allen. He is most grateful for the help without which his studies would not have been possible from The Sir Peter Moores Foundation, Ernst Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Countess of Munster Trust, Music Benevolent Fund Trust, Worshipful Company of Musicians and the South African National Arts Council.

Njabulo Madlala's roles and engagements have included the title role in Don Giovanni (Mid-Wales Opera), Le Calender La rencontre Imprévue (Gluck - Guildhall School of Music), The King Goes Forth to France (Sallinen - Guildhall School of Music), Don Fernando Fidelio, Bello La Fanciulla del West and Schaunard La Bohème (Puccini) all for Opera Holland Park, Moralès Carmen (Dorset Opera), Peachum The Threepenny Opera (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival), and Rangwan Koanga (Delius - Sadler’s Wells Theatre).  For ROH2 he has sung premieres of The Heart of Darkness (Tarik O'Regan), How the whale became (Julian Philips) and Another America: Fire (Errollyn Wallen). He has also sung Don Giulio L’ajo nell’imbarazzo (Rossini - Barga International Festival), Porgy Porgy and Bess (Cheltenham and Three Choirs Festivals), and Mel The Knot Garden (Tippett) at the Montepulciano Festival in Italy - also broadcast live on radio RAI – an Opera Highlights tour for Scottish Opera, Scarpia in Tosca for Grange Park Opera ‘Rising Stars’, and the Kammersinger in Strauss's Intermezzo at the 2012 Buxton Festival conducted by Stephen Barlow, Escamillo for Winslow Hall Opera, Forester Cunning Little Vixen at Woodhouse Music and Dan Cairo for Riveraide Opera.

On the recital platform Njabulo has performed with Roger Vignoles in Cambridge and at the Lugo Festival in Spain, with Julius Drake at the Mananan Festival (broadcast live by the BBC), the Oxford Lieder Festival with William Vann, Wigmore Hall Monday Concert series and Buxton Festival with Simon Lepper, Gower Festival with Llyr Williams, Lake District with James Baillieu. Other concert highlights have included J. S. Bach Ich habe genug with the Ten Tors Orchestra, Mahler Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen with the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyles First series conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Beethoven Choral Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Messiah with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Elijah at the Snape Maltings, Gathering Wave at the 2012 Three Choirs Festival, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas at the Wimbledon Festival, Mozart Requiem with the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Belshazzar’s Feast with the Philharmonia at the 2013 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.

Current engagements include three recitals at the National Arts Festival Grahamstown (July 2014), a recital at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (May 2014), an Israel tour of Bach Cantatas (June 2014), and the role of Marcello La Bohème in Edinburgh (April 2014), as well as Carmina Burana,Elijah, a recital as part of the Ripon International Festival, and a South African Programme to celebrate Mandela at the Christopher Summer Music Festival in Lithuania. 

His broadcasts include In Tune for BBC Radio 3, BBC live recordings of the Mananan Festival and RAI Italy.

Please contact us for a fully updated biography for concert programmes

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“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.”
- Ferrier Awards / Wigmore Hall / The Times

News featuring Njabulo Madlala

Our singers

A lovely post-concert report from Ian Assersohn of... READ MORE

Posted on June 28th 2016

Njabulo Madlala a "compelling baritone soloist"

Njabulo Madlala was soloist in Mahler's Lieder eines... READ MORE

Posted on October 13th 2015

QEH triumph with Ben Thapa and Njabulo Madlala

We were very happy to receive great feedback from the... READ MORE

Posted on June 12th 2015

Njabulo Madlala in Lithuania

Here's a photo of Njabulo on stage during his recent... READ MORE

Posted on September 16th 2014

Njabulo Madlala at the Ripon International Festival

Njabulo Madlala gives a recital at the Ripon... READ MORE

Posted on September 10th 2014

Exciting new singers join Davies Music - soprano Anita Watson and baritone Njabulo Madlala

We are delighted to announce two new singers to... READ MORE

Posted on August 18th 2014