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Johan Botha



Johan Botha in action.
Johan Botha in Tannhäuser, The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2010

South African tenor Johan Botha (1965–2016) made his Royal Opera debut in 1995 as Rodolfo (La bohème). His subsequent roles for The Royal Opera were Radames (Aida), Calaf (Turandot), Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Emperor (Die Frau ohne Schatten).

Botha was born in Rustenburg and began singing lessons aged ten. After completing his education and military training he studied in Pretoria, first as a bass-baritone and later as a tenor. He made his stage debut at the municipal theatre in Roodepoort as Max (Der Freischütz) in 1989, and his international debut with Paris Opéra as Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) in 1993. He went on to perform at all of the major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, and Vienna State Opera, and for the Bayreuth Festival. His repertory included Otello, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Walther von Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Andrea Chénier, Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos), Parsifal and Siegmund (Die Walküre). He also appeared regularly in concert and worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Lorin Maazel and Antonio Pappano. He recorded extensively on CD and DVD.

Botha was awarded the title of Austrian Kammersänger in 2004.

News and features

Remembering Johan Botha (1965–2016)

8 September 2016
Remembering Johan Botha (1965–2016)

The great South African tenor’s many appearances with The Royal Opera included Tannhäuser, Lohengrin and the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten.