Lyric mezzo soprano Megan Kahts is an emerging talent from South Africa who is based in Vienna, Austria. Having trained at the esteemed University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna in the mainstream classical tradition, Ms Kahts specialises in the performance of Early and Contemporary Music.
Next to her professional commitments, Ms Kahts is currently completing a post-graduate programme in Historical Performance Practice at the MDW’s Institute for Early Music, under KS Michael Schade and Stefan Gottfried in Vienna, in order to further hone her craft. She holds two Master’s degrees in Opera and in Lied / Oratorio singing respectively, each passed with distinction from the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
Ms Kahts began her musical education as a child by studying the piano and music theory from the age of eight and subsequently, after landing a surprise record deal, embarked on a childhood singing career. As an adult, Ms Kahts works internationally as a freelance classical singer and has performed in theatres and concert halls across Europe, including Vienna’s Musikverein and Kammeroper, Laxenburg’s Schlosstheater, Stift Altenburg, Budapest’s Palace of the Arts, Trento’s Teatro Sociale, Sarajevo’s National Theatre etc. and for prestigious events, including the Kitz Race Party at Austria’s Hahnenkamm Rennen and the Opera Jewels Gala concerts at Montecasino in Johannesburg with star South African tenor, Operalia-winner Levy Sekgapane.
In Vienna, Ms Kahts studied Voice under Claudia Visca, Lied und Oratorium under KS Robert Holl and Opera under Beverly Blankenship / Peter Marschik. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music Cum Laude from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Throughout her studies and career so far, Ms Kahts has further honed her craft by participating in masterclasses with great artists and renowned pedagogues, most notably Michelle Breedt, Elly Ameling, Jeanette Favaro-Reuter, Annely Peebo and Alfred Burgstaller. She sang her first professional roles during her student years in Pretoria and in Vienna.
Ms Kahts has received critical acclaim particularly for the productions she has sung for the Neue Oper Wien (Shostakovich and Krenek) and for Teatro Barocco in Laxenburg and Altenburg, where she embodied the roles of Susanna, Despina and Bastienne by Mozart, as well as Hasse’s Tisbe (Piramo e Tisbe) and Haydn’s Costanza (L’isola disabitata). She frequently gives Song recitals in Austria and can be regularly heard singing Mozart, Haydn and Schubert masses, as well as other Oratorio repertoire, in Vienna’s Church of St. Augustin and other concert venues.
Megan Kahts is the Third Prize Winner of the International Student LiedDuo Competition in Enschede Holland and the First Prize Winner of the International Hugo Wolf Lied Duo Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has given Lieder recitals for Wiener Lieder Herbst, for the Imperial Talents series in the Imperial Hotel in Vienna, at the Haydnhaus and Schuberthaus in Vienna, in Schloss Niederfellabrunn and for the Junge Schubertiade Wien – as well as for several concert series’ around South Africa. Her dedicated work on Lieder, particularly with pianist and coach Stephan Matthias Lademann, lies at the heart of her musicianship.
During her studies in South Africa, Megan Kahts won prizes in various South African music competitions, winning the First prize in the Phillip Moore Music Competition; and the Second prize (and Mimi Coertse’s Singer’s Award, as well as five other awards) in the UNISA South African Bursary Competition.
As a child, Ms Kahts made her concert debut as a singer at the age of 11, when she was contracted to perform in concert with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic orchestra in Durban, South Africa, singing the “Alleluia” from Mozart's Exultate Jubilate. She accepted a recording contract at the same age and released two CDs as a teenage soprano, singing repertoire from musicals, operas, oratorios and South African song. She has performed with various South African orchestras and has been featured on numerous South African television and radio programmes.