Maria – Elizabeth Bezuidenhout

Maria-Elizabeth (“Marietjie”) Was Born In Cape Town And Grew Up In The Tygerberg Area. Her Singing Career Started At Age 5, When She Announced Herself At The Tygerberg Children’s Choir, Where She Still Holds The Record For Being The Youngest Member To Be Accepted. Her First Solo Experience Was With This Choir At The International Tulip Festival At Katwijk An Zee, Netherlands.
Her Formal Vocal Training Started With Nellie Du Toit Towards A BMus Degree At The University Of Cape Town, With Concomitant Opera Diploma Credits.

She Holds A University Of South Africa Licentiate In Piano Under The Guidance Of Marike And Nancy Hofmeyr. During This Period She Received The Niki Antonides Bursary For Most Promising Vocal Student, Virginia Oosthuizen Bursary For Oratorio And Stellenbosch Eisteddfod Vocal Ensemble Winner. She Completed The Trinity Licentiate In Singing With Prof G.Z. Van Der Spuy, Passing With Distinction.

Thus Far Maria Has Never Pursued An Operatic Career As She Was Establishing Herself As A Concert & Oratorio SingerPerformances Include Bach Cantatas BWV 36, 75, 244; St John Passion, Fauré Requiem, Exultate Jubilate, Vesperae Solemnes Confessore, Missa Criola By Ramirez, Schubert Mass In G And Vivaldi Gloria To Name A Few.

With A Dual Interest In Human Sciences Maria Pursued Studies In Medicine And Became A Physician As A Result Of Tenacious Study And Real CuriosityDuring This Period She Sang Ad Hoc For Cape Town Opera And Continued Vocal Studies With Marita Napier. People Soon Discovered Her Exceptional Sight-Reading Skills, Unusual Range And Keyboard Skills.

Thus, She Was Asked If She Would Not Mind Lending Assistance To The Altos! 

This Sight-Reading Skill Came To Good Use In Concert Singing As A Member Of The Jubilate Deo Choir And String Ensemble In Cape Town.

While Working Full-Time In Medicine She Acquired A MMus Degree In Vocal Performance With Virginia Davids At UCT In 2007. Due To Time Constraints And Balancing Both Careers She Was Unable To Accept Invitations In Full Student Opera Productions.

As The Voice Matured Maria Now Pursued Singing As A Larger Part Of Her Life And Expanded Her Horizons By Exploring Opportunities Outside South Africa. In July 2007 KS Wicus Slabbert Accepted Her In His Masterclasses In Vienna, With Performances In Voralberg, Nederösterreich. Works Studied With KS Slabbert For The Next Two Years Were Pamina, The Countess, Fiordiligi, Esclarmonde, Morgana, Elvira, Amina, Aricie (Hippolyte Et Aricie) And Mahler Symph No 4. 

In 2010 She Sang As Alto Soloist In Monteverdi Vespers In Cleveland, Ohio. In 2011 She Was Alto Soloist In Messiah With Kwazulu Natal Symphony And Alcina (La Liberazione Di Ruggiero) With Opera D’Amore In Seattle. In 2013 She Was The Soprano Soloist In Handel’s Messiah With Cape Town Philharmonic And Took Part In The Grand Voci Vocal Competition During The Salzburg Festival. She Was A Semi-Finalist In The Ileo Slezak International Singing Competition In Salzburg And Vienna In 2014. She Gained Valuable Stagecraft Experience Doing Opera Workshops Under The Guidance Of Jucija Brnic. Maria Also Studied With Marisa Marchio (Cape Town) And Martha Gerhart When In Dallas.
With A Naturally Agile, Lyric Voice Maria Has Been Coached As A SopranoBut With Maturity The Voice Has Settled Very Comfortably Into That Of A Lyric, Mezzo Coloraturo.

She Feels Her Expertise Lies In Singing Handel, Mozart, Rossini And Modern Repertoire.

Maria is married to American-born woodwind specialist, John Rojas. Having John as her accompanist and a 7- foot Bechstein at home is a real advantage!

Hard at work, before a show

Although they have worked as a team since 2008, they are now officially called Deo4. The inception concert took place on 14 February 2016 in Tulbach. The duo is unique in that both John and Maria are pianists and can accompany each other. Maria arranges most of the numbers to make it feasible for voice, piano and oboe or saxophone. Deo4’s repertoire ranges from strictly classical to “crossover” and light numbers. Concerts included Casa Labia Muizenberg, Saint Francis Church in Simon’s Town, with American organist Stephen Furchess, Goodnow Classical Music Festival in Wellington and the International Double Reed Woodwind Convention IDRS Atlanta, USA etc.

(Photos Copyrighted By DEO4MUSIC)