Lyric Opera of Chicago

Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi

 Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi headshot

Photo by Devon Cass.

A native of KwaZulu-Natal and former resident of Cape Town, South Africa, soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi is a first-year member of the Ryan Opera Center. She obtained her diploma in opera in 2010 and her postgraduate diploma in music performance in 2012, both from the University of Cape Town, South African College of Music. In Vienna Mkhwanazi has participated in master classes with Fiorenza Cossotto and Giacomo Aragall. The soprano's successes in competitions include her homeland's SAMRO International Singing Scholarship (second prize) and Muzicanto Singing Competition (first prize), as well as Vienna's 2012 Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition (second overall prize, media jury prize, audience prize). Among her leading roles in Cape Town have been Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte, Konstanze/Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Antonia/Les contes d'Hoffmann, all at Cape Town Opera; and both Stravinsky's Anne Trulove/The Rake's Progress and Rossini's Madama Cortese/Il viaggio a Reims at Baster Theatre. She has also been heard in the United States, portraying Adina/L'elisir d'amore at Virginia's Barter Theatre and Susanna/Le nozze di Figaro at Brown University. This season at Lyric Mkhwanazi appears in Porgy and Bess (debut).

Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi is sponsored by Richard P. and Susan Kiphart and Drs. Funmi and Sola Olopade.


 Back to The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center


Ryan Opera Center 2014-2015 Ensemble


Sopranos Mezzo-sopranos

Tracy Cantin


Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi


Laura Wilde



J'nai Bridges


Julie Anne Miller



Tenors       Baritones    

Jesse Donner


John Irvin


Jonathan Johnson

Jonathan Johnson


Anthony Clark Evans


Will Liverman




Bass-baritone   Bass     Pianist  

Richard Ollarsaba




Bradley Smoak

Bradley Smoak




Maureen Zoltek