Deon van der Walt

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Deon van der Walt (28 July 1958 29 November 2005), was a South African tenor.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Tenor is a male voice type in classical music whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A2 (two As below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

Van der Walt studied singing at Stellenbosch University and made his debut as Jaquino in Beethoven's Fidelio at the Cape Town Opera before he had graduated. Numerous scholarships and awards allowed him to continue his studies abroad. In 1981, he won the Internationaler Mozartwettbewerb  (de ) in Salzburg.[ citation needed ] His first formal engagement took him to Gelsenkirchen's Musiktheater im Revier, then to the Staatsoper Stuttgart and Zurich Opera. He was invited to perform at the Royal Opera House in London in 1985 and there made his debut as Almaviva in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville . [1]

Stellenbosch University University in South Africa

Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University designed and manufactured Africa's first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.

Ludwig van Beethoven German classical and romantic composer

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognised and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies; 5 piano concertos; 1 violin concerto; 32 piano sonatas; 16 string quartets; a mass, the Missa solemnis; and an opera, Fidelio. His career as a composer is conventionally divided into early, middle, and late periods; the "early" period is typically seen to last until 1802, the "middle" period from 1802 to 1812, and the "late" period from 1812 to his death in 1827.

<i>Fidelio</i> opera by Ludwig van Beethoven

Fidelio, Op. 72, is Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto was originally prepared by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, with the work premiering at Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 20 November 1805. The following year, Stephan von Breuning helped shorten the work from three acts to two. After further work on the libretto by Georg Friedrich Treitschke, a final version was performed at the Kärntnertortheater on 23 May 1814. By convention, both of the first two versions are referred to as Leonore.

He was counted amongst the leading lyric tenors of his day and performed at all the world’s major opera houses, including

La Scala Opera house in Milan, Italy

La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

Hamburg State Opera opera building in Hamburg, Germany

The Hamburg State Opera is a German opera company based in Hamburg. Its theatre is located near the square of Gänsemarkt. Since 2015, the current Intendant of the company is Georges Delnon, and the current Generalmusikdirektor of the company is Kent Nagano.

Vienna State Opera Opera house in Vienna, Austria

The Vienna State Opera is an Austrian opera house and opera company based in Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera. In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Austrian Republic, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra.

He also performed at numerous international festivals, especially at the Salzburg Festival, where he sang Belmonte in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and Ferrando in Così fan tutte under Riccardo Muti.

Salzburg Festival music festival

The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the play Jedermann (Everyman) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Austrian composer of the Classical period

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.

<i>Die Entführung aus dem Serail</i> opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Die Entführung aus dem Serail is an opera Singspiel in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German libretto is by Gottlieb Stephanie, based on Christoph Friedrich Bretzner's Belmont und Constanze, oder Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The plot concerns the attempt of the hero Belmonte, assisted by his servant Pedrillo, to rescue his beloved Konstanze from the seraglio of Pasha Selim. The work premiered on 16 July 1782 at the Vienna Burgtheater, with the composer conducting.

On video, he can be seen in Handel's Semele as Jupiter, singing a long, beautifully shaped "Where'er you walk"; in Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix with Edita Gruberová; and in La belle Hélène .

George Frideric Handel 18th-century German, later British, Baroque composer

George FridericHandel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

<i>Semele</i> (Handel) oratorio by Georg Friedrich Händel

Semele is a 'musical drama', originally presented "after the manner of an oratorio", in three parts by George Frideric Handel. Based on a pre-existent opera libretto by William Congreve, the work is an opera in all but name but was first presented in concert form at Covent Garden theatre on 10 February 1744. The story comes from Ovid's Metamorphoses and concerns Semele, mother of Bacchus. Handel also referred to the work as 'The Story of Semele'.

Gaetano Donizetti 19th-century Italian opera composer

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer. Along with Gioachino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini, Donizetti was a leading composer of the bel canto opera style during the first half of the nineteenth century. Donizetti's close association with the bel canto style was undoubtedly an influence on other composers such as Giuseppe Verdi.

Deon van der Walt died at 47 at his wine farm in South Africa. Apparently, he was shot twice in the chest by his own father, who then committed suicide. [2]

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  1. Blyth, Alan (2 December 2005). "Deon van der Walt: Tenor with a Gift for Comic Opera and a Taste for Good Wine". The Guardian . Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  2. Ekron, Ziegfried (30 November 2005). "Damn Farm Cost Deon His Life". News24 . Retrieved 5 March 2010.