Originally from the Pilanesberg Mountain area in North West South Africa, the Owen Metsileng came from a musical family and started singing at an early age, both at school and in church. He was an early competitor at Tirisano Schools Choral Eisteddfod and became the National Champion at the SACMA Competition in 2007. Owen sang as a member of the Black Tie Ensemble from 2006 to 2008, and joined the Cape Town Opera Studio as a baritone in 2010.
While he was at Cape Town Opera, Owen sang Le Dancaïre Carmen and Barone Douphol/Pere Germont (c) La Traviata; additionally he appeared as Marcello La bohème and Jake Porgy and Bess on the company’s UK Tour. Prior to appearing in the semi-finals of the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Owen realized his voice was more comfortable in a higher register and he entered the competition as a tenor; a month later, he competed at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna where he won Second Place.
Owen spent 2020 at Theater Lübeck as a principal guest artist appearing in the world premiere of L’Europeene with great success.
For L’Europeene, world premiere at Theatre Luebeck, March 2020:
“This is a work that wants to interrogate, confront, awaken. A German librettist, a white South-African composer, an African stage director – in this collaboration, cultures confront each other with their prejudices… South-African tenor Owen Metsileng sings Bouba, tender, lost, sweet – he is credible and sings his part with easy grace.” Susanne Krekel Daumann, L’Ape Musicale, March 2020
Owen Metsileng…used his lyric baritone with great control and skill. His excellent legato and textual nuance were shown off to great effect in an Italianate, highly moving “Pietà rispetto amore.
Bachtrack, Kevin W Ng, January 2017