Marcus Desando

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Marcus Desando (?-) is a singer, director, arts administrator.


Marcus Tebogo Desando was born and bred in Mamelodi.

Marcus Desando was CEO of The Arts and Culture Trust, Johannesburg, from 2017 until 2021. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Gauteng Opera in Johannesburg and Artistic Director of BTE VO1SS (formerly Black Tie Ensemble). While with Gauteng Opera, Desando founded the Tin Town Theatre in Marshall Town, west of Johannesburg.

He is a professional singer who has directed, conducted and performed in South Africa and with international companies such as Really Useful Artists and New York Harlem Productions. Marcus Desando has become a driving force in the development and training of young South African artists and aspiring arts administrators.

At the beginning of 2022, Desando was appointed Director of the Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam.


He has a Masters in Science (MSc) in Management of Technology and Innovation from The Da Vinci Institute.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

As singer/actor

In 1991, he joined the chorus at the State Theatre in Pretoria. He then relocated to Cape Town and joined the CAPAB Opera Studio.

He performed in La Bohème Noir for CAPAB Opera (1997).

Desando appeared in the first South African production of Cats (2001).

As director

In 2006/2007, he directed Starbrite –Star Bright at Artscape.

He directed Hani and Tronkvoël for Cape Town Opera's Five:20 Operas Made in SA (2010).

He directed two short operas (Blood of Mine and Bessie: The Blue-Eyed Xhosa) for Cape Town Opera's Four:30 – Operas Made in South Africa (2015). He also directed Words from a Broken String at the Soweto Theatre for Gauteng Opera (2015).


'Marcus Tebogo Desando'. Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.

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