Deon van der Walt (Matric 1976)
Born: Kapstadt, South Africa
The South African tenor Deon van der Walt studied singing at the University of Stellenbosch and made his debut as Jaquino in Fidelio
at the Kapstadt Opera House even before graduating. 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, then to Stuttgart and Zürich. He was invited to
perform at Covent
Garden in London in 1985 and there made his debut as
Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
Since then Deon van der Walt has been counted amongst the leading lyric tenors
and has performed at all the world’s major opera houses, such as La Scala in Milan, the Hamburg and Vienna State Opera, as well as
the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Liceu in Barcelona and the Met in New York. Additionally he has performed at
numerous international festivals, especially at the Salzburg Festspiele, where
he has sung Belmonte in The Abduction from the Seraglio and Ferrando in Così
fan tutte under Riccardo Muti. He was particularly successful in Mozart
Year 1991 as Tamino in the Magic Flute under the direction of Sir Georg Solti.
Deon van der Walt has now also added french music to his repertoire: he sang
Romeo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Zürich Opera House and sang
Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon for the first time at the Vienna State
Opera in 1997. In Zürich and Barcelona he saw great success as Tonio in La
Fille du Regiment alongside Edita Gruberova.
Furthermore he gives numerous concerts and specializes in recital performances.
In addition to the conductors already mentioned, Deon van der Walt worked
together with (among others) Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nikolaus
Harnoncourt, Ferdinand Leitner,
Horst Stein, Lorin
Maazel, James Levine and Christian Thielemann.
Source: Arte Nova Website
Contributed by Aryeh Oron (August