South African baritone Chuma Sijeqa was a Link Artist (2018/19) on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. Sijeqa was born in Phomolong, Tembisa, and began singing choral music in primary school. He went on to join a community choir while in secondary school, and began solo singing, including opera, after entering the SASCE school competition. He studied in the Vocal Arts Department of Tshwane University of Technnology with Pierre du Toit. At university he sang in many opera productions, his roles including Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola), Sir John Falstaff (Falstaff) and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte). He also sang in masterclasses with Barbara Hill Moore, Kamal Khan and Arjan Tien. He joined Gauteng Opera in 2017, appearing in a wide range of productions and events, in roles including Gasparo (Donizetti’s Rita) and Schaunard (La bohème) amd in Saxole Khetshengane’s Elixir (to a text by Given Maxiya).
Sijeqa recently won Second Prize in the Voices of South Africa International Singing Competition, which enabled him to attend masterclasses with Elaine Kidd and David Gowland of The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, and with David Cowan of Opera North. As part of his prize he participated in the Les Azuriales Opera Festival in Nice, where he won the Joseph Karaviotis Prize in the vocal competition.