A graduate of the UCT Opera School, Port Elizabeth-born Mpofu is still digesting the magnitude of this honour.
“I couldn’t believe (the news) then congratulations began pouring in and I shared the news with my family,” Mpofu said of the accolade, which she received news of shortly after returning to South Africa after the 2019 Glyndebourne, in which she made her debut last month.
While the success has been unprecedented, Mpofu admitted that the road to her present triumph has not been smooth.
“After I won second place in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2016, I hoped for offers and went for auditions, but to no avail. I was told my voice was difficult to place as I can manage a variety of roles in the lyrical soprano register, and I think there was a preference for a more definite, limited range. I wondered, ‘what next?’ I had no clear direction at that time.”