Mimi Coertse, our beloved opera singer!
(born 12th June...1932 in Durban, SA)
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 via The Hague to Vienna. In January 1954 she started training with Maria Hittorff and Josef Witt.
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 Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (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.
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and photos here:
and other South African opera singers....