Serge Kakudji


From when he was a child the countertenor Serge Kakudji (Lumumbashi,1989) had dreamt of having a career as an opera singer. After having taken part in a number of workshops and song contests in Zimbabwe and Congo, he became an instant international sensation at the age of 17 when he made a huge impression at the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna featuring in choreographer Faustin Linyekula's The Dialogue Series: Dinozord III, a production he travelled the world with on and off until 2008. In 2006, Kakudji returned to Congo to compose and perform in the Likembe Opera – the first opera in Swahili in history. Only in 2007 did he start his formal training as a singer at the Institut Musicale et Pédagogique in the Belgian town of Namur and at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de St. Maur-des-Fossés in Paris. He started his collaborations with Alain Platel in 2008, when he was asked to play the lead in pitié!, Platel's music theatre work based on Bach's monumental Matthäus Passion, which took him on a world tour of 45 cities. In the 2011-2012 season he made his debut as Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto under the direction of Jean-Claude Malgoire at the Palace of Versailles. That season he also performed in La Folie d’Héracles at the Comédie-Française in Paris and the Comédie de Valence as well as in the world premiere of Henri Seroka's Credo – in a role which was especially written for him – at the Classic Open Air Festival in Berlin. Kakudji was beautifully portrayed only recently in Ibbe Daniëls and Koen Vidal's documentary Rêve Kakudji (2013).