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Opera Singer Johan Botha Dies

  • VOA News

FILE - Johan Botha sings the role of Calaf during a dress rehearsal of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Turandot" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

FILE - Johan Botha sings the role of Calaf during a dress rehearsal of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Turandot" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

South African opera tenor Johan Botha has died.

Botha, who was 51 years old, died Thursday in Vienna.

Botha's tenor seemed to effortlessly master a broad variety of operatic roles from Puccini to Wagner.

He showcased his talents on the stages of the world's opera houses, including La Scala, Covent Garden, New York's Metropolitan Opera and the State Opera in Vienna, which Botha had made his operatic home.

"We had been looking forward to his return so much," said Dominique Meyer, the director of the Vienna Opera.

Tenor Michael Schade said Botha was "one of the greatest voices that I ever got to share the stage with."

His last sang three weeks ago in Cape Town at a benefit for The Cancer Association of South Africa.

The Associated Press says the singer was suffering from cancer.

South African President Jacob Zuma said Botha would be remembered "for his soothing and powerful voice."

Botha is survived by his wife and two sons.

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