MUSICIANmilestones...recent obits of classical and traditional popular music performers and composers
South African star tenor Johan Botha has died at age 51.
Johan Botha (19 August 1965–8 September 2016) was a South African operatic tenor.
Botha was born in Rustenburg, South Africa. He made his stage debut at the municipal theatre in Roodepoort as Max in Der Freischütz in 1989. His international breakthrough occurred in 1993 at the Opéra Bastille as Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Since then he performed at leading opera venues around the world such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera which made him a Kammersänger in 2003, Opera Australia, Royal Opera House (London), La Scala, and the Salzburg Festival. At the time of his death he lived in Vienna, Austria with his wife and two sons.
VIDEO: In Verdi's masterful adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, a great warrior discovers the one weapon against which he has no defense—his own jealousy. Johan Botha, the South African tenor praised by The New York Times for his "effortless power and clarion tone," makes his San Francisco Opera debut in the title role. Bulgarian soprano Zvetelina Vassileva brings tenderness and vocal brilliance to the role of Desdemona, the faithful wife who finds facts are no match for manufactured suspicion. Music Director Nicola Luisotti, praised by London's Financial Times for conveying Verdi's "sweep, lyricism and subtle detail," conducts