Born in Zambia, baritone Themba Mvula sang Frazier in Theater an der Wien’s 2020 production of Porgy and Bess, having worked as a soloist and member of the Olivier Award winning ensemble for English National Opera. In 2021 he sang in recital with Roderick Williams at the Brighton Festival and performed Hanezò L’amico Fritz for Opera Holland Park. In 2022 he made his role debut as Marullo Rigoletto for Opera North, performed Schaunard La bohème for English Touring Opera and El Dancaïro Carmen & Boatswain HMS Pinafore for Opera Holland Park. In 2023 he sang Anthony Blaze of Glory! for WNO and opened The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions at the Manchester International Festival, which transferred to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Bregenzer Festspiele with further tours planned in Austria and New York in 2024/25.
Themba’s other operatic roles include Assan The Consul (Welsh National Opera), The Millworker Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Birmingham Opera Company), Belcore The Elixir of Love (King’s Head Theatre and Norwich Into Opera Festival), Guglielmo Così fan tutte (Ensemble OrQuesta) and Escamillo Carmen (Rogue Opera). He also played Count in Opera North’s Whistle Stop Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Themba has performed roles in a number of contemporary works including the title role in Bhekizizwe by Robert Fokkens and Mkhululi Mabija in a filmed production for Opera Ddraig, which toured live in 2022 with further tour dates planned. He also starred as Vithobai in The Life to Come by Louis Mander and Stephen Fry for Surrey Opera. Themba completed his training at Birmingham Conservatoire where he was winner of the Gordon Clinton English Song Prize.
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YouTube playlist includes:
- Come Paride vezzoso, L’Elisir d’Amore, Donizetti
- Donne mie, Così fan tutte, Mozart
- Lieben, hassen, Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss
- Ah! per sempre io ti perdei, I Puritani, Bellini
“Anthony (Themba Mvula), an African-American GI, movingly sings of finding his home in South Wales.”The Times
“There’s no weak link in this excellent cast, with Themba Mvula and Michel de Souza nicely characterised as Schaunard and Marcello.”inews
“Themba Mvula’s sardonic Schaunard was a wry presence on stage.”Bachtrack
“Mvula is every inch Foster’s ‘gracious and bare-limbed boy’…Mvula has a natural grace that is complemented by a rich and appealing baritone.”Opera Today
“A young baritone who showed real promise, Themba Mvula was elegant, assured and commanding.”Classical Music Magazine