Talented tenor Keanan Mitchell, 25, of Goodwood, has been singing since he was 7, and at the weekend, he stepped onto the stage at the Artscape for the Western Cape Youth Festival. .Keanan is a post-graduate student at South African College of Music who loves Verdi and has sung with the Tygerberg International Choir and the Cape Town Choir. His professor, Virginia Davids, urged him to audition to be part of the Western Cape Youth Festival.
“I come from a very musical family. I have two professional opera singers in my family. I grew up watching operas here at the Artscape and, in Grade 2, I was an extra in La bohème,” he says. “I don’t know anything else than music. Music is who I am.”
To prepare for a performance, he gargles with lukewarm water, inhales Olbas oil off a tissue and runs through voice exercises such as lip trills. His passion for music also extends to uplifting others who haven’t had the same opportunities he has had.
“I started a community arts programme for youth in Belhar, Bishop Lavis, called KLM CommArts, and I partner with the national Department of Arts and Culture as well as Business & Arts South Africa,” he says.
Young people interested in music should seize every opportunity, he says.
“They never know who could be watching them.”