Madibeng dreams of performing with Domingo

Botshelo Selogilwe

Botshelo Selogilwe

Paul Madibeng, pictured, is one of the soloists who wowed the audience at the Massed Choir Festival on September 16.

Madibeng and the other soloists blew the crowds away with their soothing voices.

The audience could not control their excitement when they heard the bass of Madibeng singing Ol' Man River from the 1927 musical Show Boat.

Madibeng says he waited anxiously for the festival: "It is not easy singing this type of music. You have to know the technique and also the history of music."

He says he always believed that he would have an opportunity to sing with the massed choir.

"I prepared for it. I spent three years training with the Black Tie Opera company.

"I was very happy about the event and I even had a dream the night before. In the dream, I was singing for many people and they responded excitedly," Madibeng says.

He is currently freelancing. He performed with Sibongile Khumalo in Norway and also in the isiZulu opera, Princess Magogo, in Amsterdam, Holland.

From 1997 to 2001, Madibeng has won a number of competitions at high schools, including the Sasol and Tirisano competitions.

In 2002, he trained at Musicon College in Bloemfontein, Free State.

"I trained for three years with Willem Theunissen who is now living in London.

"My mother was a soloist in the Lutheran church choir and she inspired me. I used to sit and listen while she sang in the choir. She always believed that I could sing and used to tell me, 'be yourself'."

Madibeng's wish is to see opera singers forming their own union that would fight for the rights of members in the industry.

He dreamt of singing with the tenor Luciano Pavarotti who died recently. Now he says that sharing the stage with Placido Domingo, one of the Three Tenors, will make him very happy.