Sunnyboy Dladla
The South African tenor


One of the most exciting and sought after rossinian voices of his generation. The unique sound of his voice, described as “a crisp, clearly focused, brightly timbred, radiantly present voice, agile and coloratura oriented” (Die Deutsche Bühne), and his outstanding stage presence have allowed him to combine an active opera career with frequent concert performances.

His plans for the 2022-2023 season include a return to the Edinburgh Festival with Carmina Burana under the baton of Sir Donald Runnicles and a production at the Opernhaus Zurich with Lessons in Love and Violence by G. Benjamin. At the Staatsoper Hannover he will be seen in Barbiere di Siviglia as Count Almaviva, The Turn of the Screw as Peter Quint and a new role debut as Leopold in La Juive by Halevy.

The 2023-2024 season will bring Sunnyboy a house debut at Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, a new role debut as Oraspe in Aureliano in Palmira at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and Carmina Burana with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda. He will also be returning to the role of Count Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia as a guest at the Staatsover Hannover.

Sunnyboy has appeared on multiple recordings, including a complete DVD recording of Mose in Egitto live from the Bregenzer Festspiel under the baton of Enrique Mazzola and Les Contes D’Hoffmann live from De National Opera Amsterdam conducted by Carlo Rizzi.

In September 2020 he joined the Ensemble at the Staatsoper Hannover and has since been perfoming roles such as Count Almaviva from Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, Ferrando from Cosi fan Tutte, Tempo from Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e di Disinganno, Cassio from Verdi’s Otello, Peter Quint from The Turn of the Screw, and Leopold from Halevy’s La Juive.

In 2018 he had a successful debut at the BBC Proms with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Sir Simon Rattle, where he performed the roles Bete, Le petit vieillard, La théière and La rainette from Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. That same year he reprised those roles with the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle at the Lucerne Festival.

In 2019 he was invited to return to the BBC Proms to sing Mozart’s Requiem with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Nathalie Stutzmann. 2021 saw his Edinburgh Festival debut singing Brighella in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos.

Sunnyboy made his debut in the United States singing Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. conducted by Rolf Beck, which resulted in an invitation to sing Mozart’s Requiem the following year with Christoph Eschenbach. North American concerts include Carmina Burana with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and at the Grand Teton Festival in the U.S., both with Sir Donald Runnicles. Other notable concert performances include Carmina Burana and Handel’s Messiah in Bucharest, conducted by Cristian Măcelaru.

One of Sunnyboy’s signature roles, Count Almaviva from Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, took him to the Rossini Opera Festival, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Den Norske Oper Oslo, the Leipzig Opera, Teather Dormund, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, and many more houses. Other roles include Don Ramiro from La Cenerentola, debuting it at the Staatsoper Stuttgart and in the following seasons he reprised it at Opera Leipzig and Opera North Leeds conducted by Wyn Davies; Paolino in Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto and Il Conte di Libenskof Il viaggio a Reims for Opernhaus Zürich; Belfiore in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims with Alberto Zedda for the Accademia Rossiniana at the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival, Arone in Mose in Egitto and Xailoun in Offenbach Barkouf for Oper Köln.

The South African tenor is also well known on the concert stage. He sang Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini under the baton of Alberto Zedda in Portugal and at the Schleswig Hollstein Festival conducted by Rolf Beck; The Creation by Haydn at the Cape Town Philamonics, and many more. Sunnyboy also took part in concerts alongside Cecilia Bartoli at the Bozar in Brussels, Pretty Yende at the Cape Town opera, and he was featured in the Renee Fleming tour in South Africa (Cape Town).

From 2018 untill 2020 Sunnyboy Dladla took part of the soloist ensemble of the Dortmund Opera house, where he sang roles like Count Almaviva from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pong from Puccini’s Turandot and Alphonse from La Muette de Portici. Season 2014-2015 found him in the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he sang in production like Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Rondine, La Traviata, The Love for three oranges and The Tales of Hoffmann.

In the seasons 2012-2014, the tenor was part of the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera. During this time, the young artist was heard as Dorvil (La Scala di Seta), Paolino (Il Matrimonio Segreto), Arturo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Nick (La Fanciulla del West), First Officer (Soldaten), Don Basilio/Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro).

Sunnyboy Dladla has worked with many renowned conductors (Alberto Zedda, Marco Armiliato, Daniele Rustioni, Riccardo Minasi, David Perry, Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli, Eduardo Strausser, Constantin Trinks, Lothar Koenigs) as well as with distinguished directors such as Barrie Kosky, Andreas Homoki, Rolando Villazon, Christoph Loy, Lotte de Beer, Calixto Bieito amongst others.

Sunnyboy Dladla was born in KZN and was raised in the small township of Piet-Retief, South Africa; he graduated with distinctions at the University of Cape Town where he was able to gain his first experiences in roles like Nemorino ( L ́elixir d’amore), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Il Conte di Libenskof (Il Viaggio a Reims), Dorvil( La Scala di Seta) and many more. After this, he continued his studies in Zürich, Switzerland at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, where he earned his masters degree.

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