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Famous Like Me > Singer > C > Mimi Coertse

Profile of Mimi Coertse on Famous Like Me

Name: Mimi Coertse  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 12th June 1932
Place of Birth: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Mimi Coertse (born 12 June 1932), is a South African soprano.

Early life

Coertse, born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, matriculated at the Helpmekaar Girls High School in Johannesburg. She left South Africa in September 1953 for London, and then went via The Hague to Vienna. In January 1954 she started training with Maria Hittorff and Josef Witt.

Opera career

Coertse made her debut in January 1955 as the First Flower girl in Wagner's Parsifal at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Karl Bohm conducting. She also sang in Basle at the Teatro San Carlo. On 17 March 1956 she made her debut at the Vienna State Opera as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart and remained with the Vienna State Opera until 1978.

Coertse sang the soprano part in Bach's Matthäus-Passion at Fritz Wunderlich's first appearance at Vienna in 1958, when he did the tenor arias with Julius Patzak singing the Evangelist. In 1958, Coertse and Fritz Wunderlich again worked together at the Aix-en-Provence festival in Die Zauberflöte. In 1965, she sang Konstanze in Werner Düggelin's controversial production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Vienna State Opera which also featured Fritz Wunderlich as Belmonte.

Her repertoire also includes:

  • Il Seraglio (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) - Constance
  • Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss) - Zerbinetta
  • Rigoletto (Giuseppe Verdi) - Gilda
  • Tales of Hoffman (Jacques Offenbach)
  • Palestrina (Hans Pfitzner) - the Angel
  • Carmen (Georges Bizet) - Frasquita
  • Martha (Friedrich von Flotow) - Martha
  • Mignon (Ambroise Thomas) - Philine
  • La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi) - Violetta
  • An Irish Legend (Werner Egk) - female lead
  • Unverhofftes Begegnen (Joseph Haydn) - female lead
  • I Pagliacci (Ruggiero Leoncavallo) - Nedda
  • Arabella' (Richard Strauss) - Fiaker-Milli
  • Bastien und Bastienne (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) - Bastienne
  • The Merry Widow (Franz Lehár) - Hanna Glawari
  • Lucia di Lammermoor (Gaetano Donizetti) - Lucia
  • Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss II) - Rosalinde
  • Don Giovanni (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) - Donna Elvira
  • La Boheme (Giacomo Puccini) - Musetta
  • Norma (Vincenzo Bellini) - Norma
  • Cosi fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) - Fiordiligi

Coertse has sung in theatres at Aix-en-Provence, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Covent Garden, Düsseldorf, Glyndebourne, Graz, Linz, Melk, Naples, Palermo, Salzburg, Stuttgart, The Hague and Turin and with conductors like Karl Böhm, Vittorio Gin, Heinrich Hollreiser, Herbert von Karajan, Josef Keilbert, Rudolf Kempe, Josef Krips, Rafael Kubelik, Peter Lainsdorf, Wilhelm Loibner, Lorin Maazel, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Edouard van Moortel, Rudolf Moralt, John Pritchard, Argio Quadri, Mario Rossi, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Hermann Scherchen, Georg Solti, Hans Swarowsky, Georges Szell and Antonio Wotto.

Among the famous singers who have partnered her were Walter Berry, Rudolf Christ, Boris Christoff, Anton Dermota, Otto Edelmann, Hilde Gueden, Johannes Heesters, Sena Jurinac, Waldemar Kmentt, Erich Kunz, Christa Ludwig, Julius Patzak, Helge Rosvaenge, Rudolf Schock, Teresa Stich-Randall, Otto Wiener and Giuseppe Zampieri.

Later years

Since returning to South Africa in 1973 she has been a regular guest on South African stages and also a frequent broadcaster on radio and television. In recent years she has devoted her time to exposing young South African singers to the neglected art of Lieder singing which can be artistically even more demanding than opera singing. Her support for her fellow South African musicians has been outstanding - as may be witnessed in her Debut with Mimi and through the Mimi Coertse Bursary.

In 1998 Mimi Coertse and Neels Hansen founded The Black Tie Ensemble, a development project which enables young, classically trained singers to bridge the gap between training and professional performance. This project has developed into the most exciting classical singing ensemble in South Africa, and is now on the brink of becoming a vibrant, new, young opera company. A project for future stars of Africa! The Ensemble, sponsored by Sappi, performs operas at the State Theatre (Pretoria), Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (Johannesburg) and the Civic Theatre (Johannesburg).

Honours and awards

  • 1961 Coertse was awarded the Medal of Honour of Die Suidafrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns
  • 1966 a most prestigious title from the Austrian Government: Kammersängerin.
  • 1985 she received in South Africa the Decoration for Meritorious Service in recognition of the contribution to the Arts.
  • August 1996 she received the highest accolade an artist can receive from the Austrian Government: the Oesterreichishe Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst.
  • 2003 she received the D.Phil (h.c.) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • In 2004 she was voted 94th in the Top 100 Great South Africans (see List of South Africans)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mimi Coertse