Van der Walt studied singing at the University of Stellenbosch 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 International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. 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.
He was counted amongst the leading lyric tenors of his day and performed at all the world’s major opera houses, including; La Scala in Milan, the Hamburg State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Zurich Opera, Switzerland, the Liceu in Barcelona and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
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.
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.
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.
Port Elizabeth‘s NMMU Library and Information Services became the custodians of what is known as the Deon van der Walt Collection. This arbitrary collection of music scores, personal papers, books commercial and private recordings was gifted to the NMMU after Deon’s death and is housed in a separate enclosure on the lower level of the South Campus Library. All the items in the collection were in Deon’s Zurich apartment at the time of his death, and constitute a treasure trove of information regarding his life and career.
Date: November 11, 2015 16:47
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/deon-van-der-walt/56010/2015/11