“It’s the behind-the-scenes work we don’t get to see that makes the show end in a standing ovation. Sometimes the most vital jobs aren’t those in the spotlight.”
As the youth development and education co-ordinator at Cape Town Opera, Madre Loubser understands this quiet satisfaction all too well. She’s also the Western Cape representative on the National Arts Council, a private flute teacher, ad-hoc flautist and a freelance music librarian for various productions in and around Cape Town.
It’s clear from her impressive resumé that Loubser lives and breathes music. Talents aside, it’s how much she cares and how little she takes for granted that really stand out. “Every child should sing or play a musical instrument. Music is of vital importance in the early development of children,” she says. Loubser wants to make sure the arts are recognised as an essential part of South African society, not only to inform us of our past, but also to show us how we can grow together for a brighter future. Cape Town Opera’s various outreach programmes work with schools in disadvantaged and rural communities to identify South Africa’s next generation of musical talent, and bring professional musicians to them for coaching and encouragement.
“Take every opportunity that you get,” is Loubser’s advice for those just starting out in their careers. “Even if it’s a job that no one else is interested in, as you will learn a great deal from the experience. Make sure your name is associated with adjectives such as ‘a hard worker’, ‘proactive’, ‘organised’, ‘prompt’ and ‘kind’. An education can never be taken away from you, so use your environment to its best abilities and take full advantage of what is on offer. As a woman, make sure that your experience and education can speak for themselves.”