Mxolisi Duda was born in Cradock in the Eastern Cape. He is an alumnus of the Hartt School of Music (Hartford, USA) where he obtained his BMus (cum laude) in Voice Performance. He further enrolled with the New England Conservatory in Boston, USA where he obtained MMus in Voice and Opera Performance. He is an artist of versatile musical expertise both in Western musical genres, as well as a range of African musical arts. Throughout his stay in the United States, he was invited to lead workshops on South African traditional, indigenous and choral music. He continues to be extensively involved in the choral music sector in South Africa, where he facilitates workshops on vocal music composed in both African and Western musical idioms. He is regularly invited to sit in adjudication panels of schools, churches and community choirs’ eisteddfods.
He has had the honour of singing lead tenor roles in operas such as Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute, Trial by Jury, The Merry Widow, Orpheus in the Underworld and the abridged performance of Massenet’s Cendrillon. Mr Duda’s most memorable performances, to date, were in Europe, where he performed on various stages in Madrid, Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin. This is his sixth season of employment as Manager and Artistic Director of the UP Ovuwa Ensemble which operates under the auspices of the Department of UP Arts at the University of Pretoria. He was recently appointed to serve in the Faculty of Humanities’ Transformation Committee that deals with various topics including decolonialism, institutional culture and many more.