Born in Zambia, baritone Themba Mvula completed his training at Birmingham Conservatoire where he was winner of the Gordon Clinton English Song Prize. More recently he was awarded second prize in the Bologna International Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the inaugural By Voice Alone competition. In 2020 he was due to debut with Opera Holland Park as Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto and with English Touring Opera as Mel in Tippet’s The Knot Garden before cancellation due to COVID-19. Themba did sing the role of Frazier in Theater an der Wien’s 2020 production of Porgy and Bess after working as a soloist and member of the Olivier Award winning ensemble for English National Opera. He will sing the role of Hanezò in L’amico Fritz for Opera Holland Park in 2021.
Themba’s operatic roles include Belcore The Elixir of Love (King’s Head Theatre and Norwich Into Opera Festival), Assan The Consul (Welsh National Opera), The Millworker Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Birmingham Opera Company), Guglielmo Così fan tutte (Ensemble OrQuesta) and Escamillo Carmen (Rogue Opera). He also played The Count in Opera North’s Whistle Stop Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Themba has also 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. He also starred as Vithobai in The Life to Come by Louis Mander and Stephen Fry for Surrey Opera.
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YouTube playlist includes:
- Come Paride vezzoso, L’Elisir d’Amore, Donizetti (recorded Dec 2020)
- Donne mie, Così fan tutte, Mozart (recorded Dec 2020)
- Lieben, hassen, Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss (recorded Dec 2020)
- Ah! per sempre io ti perdei, I Puritani, Bellini (recorded 2020)
“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