Young Coloratura Soprano
Rochelle Veenemans is 18-years old and the granddaughter of South African opera star, soprano Barbara Veenemans. Rochelle is now regarded as the fifth Veenemans-soprano.
Rochelle is blind and a Grade 12 pupil at a school for visually impaired children in Pretoria.
Rochelle made her solo vocal stage debut at the age of four. She is a regular performer at charity events, children’s music theatre productions and she also performs regularly with her aunt and vocal tutor, opera singer Michelle Veenemans.
Rochelle frequently competes at various Eisteddfods. In 2012 at the age of 7, she received a special award from the South African National Eisteddfod Academy for her brilliant rendition of Bach’s aria, Bist du bei mir for Grade 1 pupils. As a result, she was invited to perform at the Young Performers Showcase at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria.
In November 2013, she won a Special Gold Medal Award for winning the overall Junior Section for Classical Vocal Music at the National Eisteddfod Academy, singing the Mozart aria, Voi che sapete.
In 2013, at the age of 8, she gave her first radio interviews for RSG Kuns and SAfm Radio.
In June 2013, Rochelle was invited to perform at The South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind’s Diamond Jubilee Gala Concert at the Joburg Theatre. She sang the aria O mio Babbino Caro with a 70-piece symphony orchestra under the baton of maestro Graham Scott.
From 2011 to 2018, Rochelle won a total of 8 gold medals at the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria for her renditions of classical and oratorio works. In 2018, Rochelle was awarded 100% as well as a gold medal for her rendition of "I could have Danced all Night".
Rochelle became a member of the Girl Group, Devine Broadway Babes, in 2014. The group mainly performed hit songs from contemporary Broadway musicals and films and made their debut at the Pierneef Theatre on 13 September 2014. Rochelle participated in the Tribute to ABBA concert series in 2016 and 2017.
Rochelle is a member of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble who performed the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi with great success at the Nazareth Chapel in Pretoria in 2015 and 2019.
Rochelle is a regular performer at the annual Ten Spyte Van ... concert series at the Pierneef Theatre, supported by the Cordis Trust.
She was invited in 2016 to sing in Otjiwarongo in Namibia. This was her first performance abroad.
Rochelle's debut CD, Enchanting, was launched in June 2014.
Her CD project for 2016 included the recording of the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi as part of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble.
She made her television debut on kykNet's JAM in December 2016.
In August 2018, Rochelle performed with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Schalk van der Merwe.
In 2019, Rochelle performed at the Atterbury Theatre, as singer-dancer in the Hoërskool Zwartkops Dance Academy's gala show.
Rochelle released her second album, This is my Time, in 2020.
Rochelle passed her first ballet Grade 1 Class Award for the Royal Academy of Dance in 2020 with flying colours!
In 2021, Rochelle received full colours for academics at the Prinshof School for Visually impaired learners. She was class best for Grade 10 learners.
In 2021, Rochelle was requested by South African composer Dr Rexleigh Bunyard to sing a principle role in her modern chamber opera, Lost in a bluebell wood. Rochelle already made preliminary recordings of her parts and the opera will be staged as soon as it is financed. This work is the first opera written including sign language as a dramatic device to enhance the libretto. In 2021 the opera is being remotely recorded, designed and assembled by artists on 3 continents. https://www.rexleigh.com/productions/bluebell-wood/
In 2022, Rochelle was appointed as national Goodwill Ambassador for the Casual Day Projects for persons with disabilities. #casualday
On 12 June, Rochelle performed for Mimi Coertse's 90th birthday celebrations.
On 3 September 2022, Rochelle gave her first television interview for Bravo!
On 22 January 2023, Rochelle performed at The Centurion Theatre in the prestigious Gala Concert in honor of her Grandmother Barbara Veenemans's 85th birthday celebrations.
RESENSIE in DIE WAARHEID:
‘Klein diamant’: blinde vyfde Veenemans-sopraan (18) debuteer
Jan 23, 2023
Wie’s Wie in SA ruk op vir Barbara Veenemans se 85ste
Deur Sonnette Lombaard
Met musiekbloed wat dik deur hulle are bruis, is die Veenemans se prestasies op ons operaverhoog ongekend en selfs ‘n straat in Centurion is na hulle vernoem. Nou het Suid-Afrika se goue operafamilie boonop ‘n nuwe skitterster, en sy laat nie eers blindheid in haar pad staan om haar familie se trotse en ongeëwenaarde operarekord voort te sit nie.
Die beeldskone jong koloratuursopraan Rochelle Veenemans (18) het gister in Centurion die Wie’s Wie in Suid-Afrika in hoendervleis gehad. Sy het haar ouma, Barbara een van ons beste soprane nog, toegesing wat Donderdag 85 geword het. Met die legendariese Mimi Coertse (90) in ‘n rylstoel in die voorste ry, het al wat ‘n bekende is na die Centurion Teater opgeruk vir ‘n spog-galakonsert ter ere van Barbara se mylpaalverjaarsdag. Van veteraanakteur Tobie Cronje tot die modeontwerper Simon Rademan is opgemerk.
Op die verhoog het Suid-Afrika se voorste opera- en klassieke musieksterre insluitende tenore Marco Fourie en Coert Grobbelaar, tjellis Gerrit Koorsen en violis Miro Chakaryan met Martin Lane, Jakobus Swart, Paul Ferreira, Eugene Joubert en Rudolf Geldenhuis vir Barbara op klavier met hul talente vereer.
Die statige Barbara het op 85 pragtig gestraal in swart-en-goud met ‘n helderheid en gees van iemand veel jonger. Die ATKV het daartydens ook ‘n oorkonde aan haar oorhandig, wyl die teoloog prof. Christina Landman treffende hulde gebring het aan Barbara wat haar in die 1960s op laerskool vir ‘n operette afgerig het en nie net van musiek nie, maar ook verbeelding geleer het.
Gister se spogprogram is saamgestel deur Barbara se ewe mooi en talentvolle dogter Michelle, wyd beskou as ons beste dramatiese koloratuursopraan. Soos haar bekende ma, het sy ook laas week verjaar. Michelle het self die gaste met haar stem in vervoering gehou met solo-stukke, maar ook saam met haar niggie Rochelle en die res van die sterkunstenaars laat waai.
Michelle het aan Die Waarheid vertel dit was Rochelle wat ook ‘n paar keer op die verhoog was, se debuutuitvoering van die Poppe-Lied, een van die moeilikste arias vir ‘n koloratuur om onder die knie te kry. “Ek het agter die verhoog gestaan en bid dat dit goed afloop, maar sy het onder druk geskitter en is ons ware klein diamantjie.” Rochelle, wat die dogter is van Barbara se seun Jaco Jordaan, se blindheid stam uit nalatigheid met haar geboorte as prematuurbaba toe sy te veel suurstof gekry het. Haar sangtalent word deur haar ouma en tante geslyp.
Volgens Michelle het Rochelle perfect pitch en maak haar bogemiddelde gehoor – sy kan tussen verskillende frekwensies onderskei – op vir haar visie-uitdagings.
Rochelle is reeds die vyfde sopraan in die Veenemans-familie. Die susters, Leonor en Barbara, en hul kleinboet Bennie was almal soprane wat diep spore in ons operageskiedenis gelos het. Bennie was in die 1950s ‘n wunderkind wat voor sy stem gebreek het, saam met die SAUK se simfonieprogramme opgetree het. Sy sopraanstem was ongewoon en het presies soos sy twee susters s’n geklink. Ousus Leonor het op 38 tragies verongeluk. Bennie, ‘n mediese dokter, is in 2010 oorlede. ‘n Straat in Elarduspark is na die Veenemans vernoem.
Die stylvolle Michelle en brawe Rochelle sit sedertdien hul roemryke familie se operaprestasies met mening voort. En geen patriotiese hart was gister bestand teen hulle en die res van die programkunstenaars se uitstal van die ryk talent wat diep in ons land rank nie. Welkome lig vol hoop in die donker tye tans onder Afrika se suiderson.
Video Left: 15-year old blind singer, Rochelle Veenemans, performs the Musical Theatre song, Girl in 14G.
She is joined by her aunt, Michelle Veenemans, South African Dramatic Coloratura Soprano as the two noisy neighbours.
Rochelle Veenemans performs with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Schalk van der Merwe.
Left: Rochelle, performing as Vocalist and as part of the cor de ballet at the Atterbury Theatre, for the Hoërskool Zwartkops's Dance Academy in 2019.
Right: Rochelle waiting backstage for the ABBA Celebration concert to start at the Pierneef Theatre in May 2017
Left: Rochelle performing in the Tribute to ABBA concert at the Pierneef Theatre in Pretoria, 2016.
Sunday, 22 January 2023: Performance at the Centurion Theatre for granny Barbara Veenemans's 85th Gala Concert celebrations.
Friday, 2 December 2022: Christmas songs at Laerskool Swartkop.
Wednesday, 28 September 2022: Rochelle performs as guest artist at Laerskool Swartkop's culture week.
Tuesday, 27 September 2022: Rochelle performs as guest artist at Laerskool Swartkop's culture week.
Monday, 26 September 2022: Rochelle performs as guest artist at Laerskool Swartkop's culture week.
Saturday, 3 September 2022: Rochelle gave her first television interview for the Bravo! programme.
Saturday, 3 September 2022: Rochelle Veenemans performed during the LIG (Lewe in Gestremdheid) Concert at Sol-Tech, for Helpende Hand
Sunday, 28 August 2022: Performance at the NG Kerk Sesmylspruit in Centurion
Wednesday, 10 August 2022: Category winner at the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging's vocal competition.
Sunday, 12 June 2022: Rochelle has been invited to perform at Mimi Coertse's 90th birthday celebrations at the Voortrekker Monument.
Sunday, 8 May 2022: Mother's Day performance at the Methodist Church at Hartebeespoort Dam
Saturday, 16 April 2022: Zoom Interview as new Goodwill Ambassador for South Africa's #casualday projects.
Saturday, 18 December 2021: Zoom interview with Petra Sittig from Vienna, Austria
Saturday, 4 December 2021: Solo performance at Hartbeespoort Dam
Sunday, 3 October 2021: Solo performance at the Ten Spyte van ... concert series at Pierneef Theatre
09 October 2020: Launching of our online concert, Op 'n hoë Noot, hosted by the Pierneef Theatre web page.
August 2020: Photo-shoot on invitation by star photographer B-You Wedding Photography - Rina G Coetzee
05 April 2020: Launching of CD, This is my Time, at the Pierneef Theatre, however CANCELLED due to COVID lock down
20 September 2019: Making her debut at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton during an Operetta concert with Michelle Veenemans
25 August 2019: Making her solo debut as soprano in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater at Nazareth House Chapel in Pretoria.
15 July 2019: Solo performance with the Hoërskool Zwartkop Dance Academy at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria
30 June 2019: Concert at Waverley Gardens in Johannesburg
11 June 2019: recording of my new CD, This is my Time
23 January 2019: Started with my first ballet lessons under Ms Carien Fourie
12 January 2019: Was named the Social Media Winner for the "Miss Photogenic Express Yourself" competition on Facebook
Saturday, 8 December 2018: Performance at a private Christmas function in Pretoria
Sunday, 25 November 2018: Performance at a private Christmas service in Centurion
Sunday, 18 November 2018: Performing at a Christmas Service in Johannesburg
Sunday, 2 September 2018: Performance in Johannesburg, Kensington Gardens
Sunday, 26 August 2018: Performance at the NG Kerk Lyttleton Noord, 09:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018: Performance with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the musical direction of Schalk van der Merwe, Henley on Klip, 18:00
Monday, 30 July 2018: Singing for the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria.
Friday, 16 March 2018: Performing at the Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn, 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018: Performing at Barbara Veenemans's 80th birthday celebrations at the Lemon jack Theatre in Centurion, 19:00
Friday, 01 December 2017: Christmas Concert Protea Retirement Village, Lyttleton
Friday, 03 November 2017: Christmas Concert at the NG Kerk Alberton Suid, featuring Rochelle and Michelle Veenemans, 19:00
Sunday, 01 October 2017: ABBA Spring Celebration, Pierneef Theater, 15:00
Tuesday, 2 August 2017: Eisteddfod performance for the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria 2017, 10:00
Saturday, 06 May 2017: ABBA Celebration, 19:00, R110 and R120 at the Pierneef Theatre, Pretoria
Sunday, 19 February 2017: Michelle and Rochelle Veenemans in Concert for a Corporate function at Pembury Lodge in Johannesburg, 10:00.
Tuesday, 31 January 2017: Michelle and Rochelle Veenemans in Concert for a corporate function in Centurion, for the Viva Musica Music Club, 19:00.
11 December 2016: Rochelle makes her television debut on kykNET's television channel 144 at 19:30.
30 October 2016: Vuurkolomfees at NG Kerk Quaggapoort: 15:00 Tickets R30 at the door.
16 October 2016: Ten Spyte van ... Concert series at the Pierneef Theatre: 15:00
6 August 2016: In concert with the Klassika Vocal Ensemble at the Brummeria Renaissance Retirement Village 10:30, Tickets R40
7 May 2016: Tribute to ABBA Concert at the Pierneef Theatre
20 February 2016: Second session of recording of the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi at Cesar Sound as member of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble.
23 January 2016: Rochelle will be recording the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi at Cesar Sound as member of the klassika Vocal Ensemble.
30 October 2015: DVD shoot in Johannesburg
18 October 2015: Rochelle Veenemans: Ten Spyte van ... concert series at the Pierneef Theatre. A special concert for people with disabilities!
27 September 2015: Stabat Mater by Pergolesi ~ Concert at Nazareth House, Pretoria, 15:00
05 September 2015: Concert at Eldoraigne Familiekerk, 15:00
03 September 2015: Dames 1000, Centurion
11 August 2015: Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria
7 March 2015: Rochelle and the Devine Broadway Babes in concert at the Pierneef Theatre: 18:30
6 December 2014: Performing at a Christmas Concert at Broadaceres Lifestyle Centre
22 November 2014: Performing for the SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind 's Christmas Concert in Sandton
20 November 2014: Performing for a corporate function for people with disabilities.
15 November 2014: StarBlaze studio's annual award ceremony. Rochelle will perform and also receive an award.
22 October 2014: Performance in the Ten Spyte Van concert series at the Pierneef Theatre, R50, 18:30.
13 September 2014: Devine Babes @ the Pierneef Theatre, 10:00 R60 & R70
26 August 2014: Ensemble singing, Centurion Kunstefees
21 August 2014: Ensemble singing, Centurion Kunstefees
11 August 2014: Solo, Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria
08 August 2014: Recorder-ensemble Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria
17 May 2014: In Concert with Michelle Veenemans, Harmoniehof NG Kerk Hall, 15:00
24 November 2013: The Joys of Christmas: St Alban's College Auditorium
13 October 2013: Performance at the Pierneef Theatre, Ten Spyte van, concert series
12 August 2013: Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria
5 June 2013: Joburg Civic Theatre, SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind Gala Concert
Last update: 24/01/2023