South African opera singer Johan Botha dead at 51

Vienna, Sep 9 (IANS) Acclaimed South African singer Johan Botha died here after a critical battle with cancer. He was 51.

Botha died on Thursday morning, reports variety.com.

Known for his fluid musicality and tenor sound, Botha made his professional debut in 1993 when he appeared as Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” at Opera Bastille in Paris. In 1997, Botha debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Canio in “Pagliacci”.

Aside from the Metropolitan Opera, Botha sang at virtually every major opera house worldwide, including Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House in London and the Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna.

Botha’s last public performance was at an opera gala with The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with the Cancer Association of South Africa in August. He was also scheduled to sing Calaf in Puccini’s “Turandot” and Radames in Verdi’s “Aida” at Vienna State Opera later this year.

Botha is survived by his wife and two sons.

–IANS

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