Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) CEO, Marcus Desando facilitates a virtual book review of ACT Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for 2020, Professor Angelo Gobbato, on 25 November 2020.


Invitation from the DaVinci Institute:

We are delighted to invite you to The Da Vinci Institute’s first book review. We seek to encourage the Da Vinci community, to be curious, by delving into literature, probing and seeking relevant truths in the works of Professor Angelo Gobbato, a visionary, who was instrumental in spearheading the Cape Town Opera, helped discover some of the most remarkable operatic talent in the genre and was key in the transformation of South African opera to encompass all South Africans.

Da Vinci Alumnus Marcus Desando will be the facilitator of this online book review, interviewing Prof Gobbato on his remarkable memoir titled: “Passion for Opera”, an insightful work detailing the history of this live artform; detailed in it are the intricacies of running an arts institution while persuading potential sponsors to assist in keeping the operatic culture in South Africa alive. Something that Prof Gobbato as a managerial leader of a non-profit organisation was often challenged by.

We look forward to you joining us to hear Prof Gobbato himself discussing his leadership journey, and a chance to gain some perspective on arts leadership from an agile, aligned and engaged leader of the industry.



Date: Wednesday 25 November 2020

Time: 15:30 to 16:30

Facilitated by: Arts & Culture Trust CEO, Marcus Desando


Click here to register:


When you register, you will receive an email with the event details to join online.



Professor Angelo Gobbato – former Artistic Director and CEO of Cape Town Opera, as well as Emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town Opera School – is an internationally acclaimed stage Director of opera, and “Father of Opera in South Africa”. Prof Gobbato is also widely acknowledged as having helped opera to flourish in South Africa by his prolific creative abilities and unrestrained efforts as an agile leader and visionary in opera; a meaningful contribution that has garnered international interest and recognition. He is the author of the book Passion for Opera, which was first published by Staging Post in 2018.



Marcus Desando – His passion for the arts originated as a singer, which subsequently led him to attaining and proving his remarkability through leadership roles such as stage directing, and a guest lecturer at the University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, Tshwane University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal (OSCA). Marcus has also served as a panelist at the Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition in 2015, International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition (hosted for the first time outside Europe in South Africa, Cape Town) in 2016, as well as the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for Singers in 2019.




The Art & Culture Trust (ACT)

Over 25 years of arts funding
The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is South Africa’s premier independent arts funding and development agency. The primary aim of ACT is to increase the amount of funding available for arts and culture initiatives, and to apply these funds to innovative, sustainable projects that make a meaningful contribution to society. Through structured funding programmes, ACT provides support for all expressions of arts and culture, including literature, music, visual art, theatre and dance, and the support extends to festivals, community arts initiatives, arts management, arts education and arts administration.


For more information please visit the Trust’s website. Follow ACT on Twitter or like the ACT’s Facebook page.