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   Home      Hnali Stapela

Soprano Hanli Stapela was superior to performances I’ve heard on recordings from ( Beverly) Sills and Jan Grissom, or seen in Central City, New York, Bloomington ( Indiana) with other Baby Does. The richness and brightness of Stapela’s voice, the narrow vibrato and wonderful phrasing, her ability to soar into the high tessitura with complete ease…..  (Classical New Jersey about The Ballad of Baby Doe)

Hanli_Stapelaws.jpgThe press called her performance in Massenet’s Manon ”glorious and heartbreaking”. She burst onto the opera scene in her native South Africa as Lucia di Lammermoor. Her career flourished as she became known for her realistic and sympathetic portrayal of the tragic heroines like Violetta (La Traviata), Gilda (Rigoletto), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Manon (Manon) and Cio Cio San (Madama Butterfly), although her brief forays into the comic repertoire like Norina (Don Pasquale) and Conception (L’Heure Espagnole) were highly acclaimed. Her repertoire also includes roles like Marguerite (Faust), Mimi (La Bohème), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Olympia and Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Micaela (Carmen), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Ilia (Idomeneo).
She became widely known through numerous appearances on national radio and television, like broadcasts of Rigoletto, a spectacular Operetta Gala performance, Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and a programme about her on Kyknet.
Her concert repertoire includes Brahms’s Ein Deutches Requiem, available on CD, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Handel's Messiah and Rossini's Stabat Mater. Other CD's include lieder by Spohr and Schubert and Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos. She performed widely throughout Southern Africa and traveled regularly to Europe and the UK for recitals and study purposes before she moved to the USA, where she lived for several years.

Her performances in the USA include Faurè’s Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the New Amsterdam Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with both the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and at the Lincoln Center with the National Chorale, Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus) at the Avery Fisher Hall, Baby Doe (The Ballad of Baby Doe) by Douglas Moore with the NJ State Repertory Opera and Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Westchester Chamber Orchestra.

Since her recent return to South Africa she has resumed her busy performing schedule, adding the roles of Madama Butterfly and The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro to her repertoire. She has recently completed a season as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and upcoming performances this year include Ein Deutsches Requiem, Nelson Mass, Mozart Requiem and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She is also a full-time lecturer at the Department of Vocal Arts, Tshwane University of Technology and is working on a doctorate in singing