Since a child in his native Lubumbashi, young Congolese countertenor Serge Kakudji dreamed of becoming an opera singer. After workshops and competitions in Zimbabwe and the Congo at ages 16 and 17, Kakudji garnered the enthusiasm of critics and audiences alike at Vienna’s 2006 New Crowned Hope Festival singing Mozart excerpts in “The Dialogue Series: Dinozord III” by choreographer Faustin Linyekula. This production consequently took him to Brussels’s Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS), to the Aix-en-Provence Festival and on an international tour. He returned home in 2006 to compose and perform “Likembe Opera”, the first opera in Swahili.
Kakudji began formal studies in 2007 at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur, Belgium and that same year he won the Verviers Competition Jacques Dome. He continues his studies at the Conservatoire Nationale Régionale de St. Maur-des-Fossés under Yves Sotin.
In 2008, Kakudji began a long international tour with “pitié!” by Ghent-based dance company les ballets C de la B as the star of the performance, based on the St. Matthew Passion of Bach, arranged by Fabrizio Cassol and directed by Alain Platel. The tour took him to over 45 cities all over Europe and as far as Japan and his native Congo. Kakudji periodically sings his role in concert version, as well.
In the 2011-12 season, Kakudji made his role debut as Tolomeo in Handel’s “Giulio Cesare in Egitto” under the direction of Jean-Claude Malgoire in a Christian Schiaretti production at Chateau de Versailles, and interpreted the Angel of Light in Euripede’s “La Folie d’Héracles” to original music by Fabrizio Cassol in a Christophe Perton production at the Paris Comédie-Française and the Comédie de Valence; he also sang the world premiere of Henri Seroka’s “Credo” (written for him) at Classic Open Air Festival in Berlin, sang the role of Lidio in a concert of Cavalli’s “L’Egisto” in St. Maur-les-Fossés under Robin Troman, and was a soloist in Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solennelle” in a staged version by Jean-Philippe Delavault in Tourcoing under Malgoire.
In June 2012, he made his Teatro Real de Madrid debut as Amore in “L’Incoronazione di Poppea”; he is reprising this role in Opéra de Montpellier in May 2013.
In 2013, World Pictures presents a documentary film about Serge’s life, entitled “Rêve Kakudji”.
Season 2013–2014 engagements include covering both Tolomeo and Giulio Cesare in the Paris Opera’s production of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare”, a reprise of “La Petite Messe de Rossini” at the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, and singing one of three soloists in “Orfeo 2014” at Opera Lille to mark 10 years of their reopening – a project of a mix of excerpts from Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” and new music by Helmut Oehring, with both Le Concert Astrée / Emmanuelle Haïm and Ensemble Ictus.
As of: September 2015