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Kamal Khan

Kamal Khan

MM Manhattan School of Music

Director -  Opera School

Prof. Kamal Khan was appointed as head of the Opera School at the University of Cape Town in 2009 as only the third Director since its’ founding. He has conducted and prepared many operas before that with over 100 performances for the school and Cape Town Opera including three African premieres and one world premiere – 5:20 Operas Made in South Africa. Under his leadership the school has developed and initiated teaching and exchange partnerships with the USA and Europe He spearheaded UCT Opera School’s first international tour since the 1950’s where performances were held at Brown University in the USA. The school is the subject of a new feature-length documentary, NDIPHILELA KUCULA-I LIVE TO SING which won the 2014 EMMY for best cultural program and screened at festivals internationally.

Prof. Khan was Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and Resident Conductor and Chorus Master of the Palm Beach Opera where he founded the Resident Artist Program. He was also Resident Conductor of the Opera Festival in Tenerife and Head of Faculty of the International School of Vocal Study of the Balearic Islands. Additionally he has worked with the Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music in New York, University Of Michigan, the International Vocal Arts Institute, European Center for Vocal Arts, Chautauqua School of Music, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Ravinia Festival and Glimmerglass Festival Opera. He has given masterclasses at the Mannes School of Music in NY, the Opera Hogskolan at the University of the Arts in Stockholm, the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, the University of Michigan and Georgia State University in Atlanta.

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in NY, Kamal Khan was assistant to James Levine from 1988 to 1998 at the Metropolitan Opera and collaborated with such conductors as Nello Santi, James Conlon, Julius Rudel, Christian Thielemann, Carlo Rizzi and Marco Armiliato and singers Teresa Stratas, Plácido Domingo, Renata Scotto, Sherrill Milnes, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Marcelo Alvarez, Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Marilyn Horne, Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Carlo Bergonzi, Tatiana Troyanos, Ghena Dimitrova and Bonaldo Giaiotti to name but a few.

As a conductor and pianist Kamal Khan has performed with many opera companies around the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Dallas Opera, Baltimore Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Teatro de las Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Oper der Stadt Bonn and the Staatstheater Schwerin, Germany, Cape Town Opera, Opera South Africa, Opera de Puerto Rico and the International Festivals of Cervantino in Mexico and Santander, Mérida, La Coruña, Tenerife and Málaga in Spain. Additionally he has conducted the Jerusalem Symphony, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Beijing Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, São Paulo Philharmonic, Balearic Islands Philharmonic, Oviedo Philharmonic, the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Some of the works he has conducted include Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Norma, I Puritani, La Sonnambula, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Favorita, L’Elisir d’amore, Tosca, Rigoletto, La Boheme, Il Tritico, Turandot, La Traviata, Nabucco, Un Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Werther, Mefistofele, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Die Fliegende Holländer, Ariadne auf Naxos, Porgy and Bess, Die Fledermaus, The Rake’s Progress, The Merry Widow and the African premieres of Il Viaggio a Reims and Dead Man Walking and the Five:20 Operas Made in South Africa commissioned to celebrate the South African College of Music's Centennial in 2011.

As a recitalist and accompanist Kamal Khan has appeared in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and Weill Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Gran Teatro Liceu and the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, Suntory Hall and Casals Hall in Tokyo, the Palau de Congressos in Andorra and the Baxter Concert Hall and Montecasino in South Africa with singers such as Juan Pons, June Anderson, Veronica Villarroel, Pretty Yende, Justino Diaz, Lauren Flanigan, Herman Prey and Ainoha Arteta. A native of Washington DC, Kamal Khan was the recipient of the first National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts prize, he is also received prizes and grants from the National Association of Music Teachers and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC.

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