Tenor Johan Botha dies aged 51
Published 08/09/2016 | 11:23
Tenor Johan Botha, who dazzled audiences at the world's top operatic stages in a wide range of roles, has died in Vienna at the age of 51.
Elisabetta Hartl, of Medea Music and Entertainment Group, which worked with Botha, gave no details in announcing his death, but Botha had been suffering from cancer.
Whereas many of his contemporaries focused on a relatively narrow repertoire, the South African felt at home in operas ranging from Puccini to Wagner.
Over his 27-year career, he appeared on most of the world's top stages including La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, New York's Metropolitan Opera and the State Opera in Vienna, where he made his home.
Uncommonly versatile, his roles ranged from Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio to main characters in operas composed by Verdi, Wagner, and Richard Strauss. His voice was light but powerful, displaying a fluidity that at its best knew few constraints.
He was also an accomplished concert singer, appearing with orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra under the batons of Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann among others.
He is survived by his wife and two sons.