South African baritone Njabulo Madlala made his Royal Opera House debut in 2011 as the Thames Captain (Heart of Darkness, world premiere) for ROH2. He returned in 2013 for The Royal Opera in the world premiere of How the Whale Became and has since returned to sing with the ensemble in The Nose and Aswini Twin (Sukanya, world premiere).
Madlala was born in Durban and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Wales International Academy of Voice. Awards include the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award and the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award. Opera engagements include Don Giovanni for Mid Wales Opera, Schaunard (La bohème) and Bartolomeo (Il furioso) for English Touring Opera, Don Fernando (Fidelio) and Bello (La fanciulla del West) for Opera Holland Park, Singer (Intermezzo) for Buxton Festival Opera, Scarpia (Tosca) for Grange Park Opera and Mel (The Knot Garden) for the Montepulciano Festival.
Madlala’s concert engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with Philharmonia Orchestra, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Oxford Lieder and Ravinia festivals.
News and features
The South African baritone discusses his journey from a small township to singing the role of a whale at the ROH.
Isla Mundell-Perkins as Cat with Njabulo Madlala in How the Whale Became
Njabulo Madlala as Elephant in How the Whale Became
Njabulo Madlala as Whale in rehearsals for How the Whale Became
Donna Lennard, Fflur Wyn, Andrew Dickinson and Njabulo Madlala in How the Whale Became
Njabulo Madlala as Whale in How the Whale Became
Fflur Wyn as Girl, Njabulo Madlala as Whale and Andrew Dickinson as Boy in How the Whale Became