Deon van der Walt
Van der Walt studied singing at Stellenbosch University 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 Internationaler Mozartwettbewerb 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
- 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.
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.
- Blyth, Alan (2 December 2005). "Deon van der Walt: Tenor with a Gift for Comic Opera and a Taste for Good Wine". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- Ekron, Ziegfried (30 November 2005). "Damn Farm Cost Deon His Life". News24. Retrieved 5 March 2010.