Musa Ngqungwana


As the leader of the guard, Zuniga (South-African transplant bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana) cannot be denied as his big, booming voice almost shakes the rafters as he calls out orders to his men and others who crowd the stage.

- The Philadelphia Tribune (Carmen, Opera Philadelphia, May 2018) -


Bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana​, a native of Port Elizabeth, South Africa,​ has been praised by The New York Times for his “rich, glowing voice and elegant legato,” and by The Wall Street Journal as “a powerful bass-baritone.”

This season, Mr. Ngqungwana​ sings the title role in Porgy and Bess at Washington National Opera, Atlanta Opera, Grange Park Opera, and with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. He also appears as soloist in the Porgy and Bess Suite with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. He takes the stage as Leporello in Don Giovanni with Pittsburgh Opera, as the King in Aida with Houston Grand Opera, as Wanderer in Wagner’s Siegfried with North Carolina Opera, and as Paolo Albiani in Washington Concert Opera’s production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.

Highlights of recent engagements include performances in the title role in The Glimmerglass Festival’s production of Porgy and Bess; Queequeg in Moby Dick at Los Angeles Opera, Dallas Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Utah Opera; Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at Dallas Opera; Zuniga in Carmen at Philadelphia Opera, Norwegian National Opera, and Palm Beach Opera; and King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors with On Site Opera.

His recent debuts have included Amonasro in Aida ​at English National Opera, Angelotti in Tosca at the Canadian Opera Company, Gottardo in La gazza ladra​ at The Glimmerglass Festival, and at Washington National Opera as Colline in La bohème, where he also sang the role of Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars.

His concert work has included featured performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard in Bernstein’s Songfest, as Pythéas in Sapho with the Washington Concert Opera, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, U.S. Naval Academy, and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Mr. Ngqungwana​’s vocal promise continues to be recognised nationally and internationally. In 2014, he was nominated for the Marian Anderson Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He was also the 2014 winner of the Cesare Santeremo / Dr. Campbell Award from Opera Index in New York City, and a third prize winner of the Giulio Gari and Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competitions.

In 2013, he was the Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a recipient of the Lissner Charitable Award from the Licia Albanese / Puccini International Vocal Competition, and the recipient of the Apollo Music Trust. Further recognitions include the 2011 Oppenheimer Memorial Trust award and the 2010 winner of the WBHO / Jan Kaminski Award. Musa is also the 2015 recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist through the National Arts Festival of South Africa.

Musa Ngqungwana​ graduated with Honors in Performance (First Class) from the University of Cape Town and is also a graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. He is the author of Odyssey of an African Opera Singer, which was published in South Africa by Penguin Random House.

Artist Website


European Management:
Thomas Channell
M: +49 (0)171 212 6728

As imposing physically as he was vocally, bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana captured the enigma that is Queequeg.

Seen and Heard International (Moby Dick, Pittsburgh Opera, March 2018)

The third act duet between Latonia Moore (Aida) and Musa Ngqungwana (Amonasro) was the highlight of the entire show, the brilliance of their performance adeptly illuminating…

Seen and Heard International (Aida, English National Opera, September 2017)


Photo Credit: Loyiso mali

Photo Credit: Musa Ngqungwana

Photo Credit: Loyiso Mali


Porgy and Bess Suite with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under Andrés Orozco-Estrada

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