Johan Botha


The tenor Johan Botha, who was born in 1965 in South Africa, studied voice in Pretoria and made his stage debut in 1989 as Max in Weber’s Der Freischütz at the Roodepoort Theatre. In 1990 he came to Europe, where his international career developed quickly after initial engagements in Kaiserslautern, Hagen, Dortmund, and Bonn: his debut as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Opéra National de Paris in 1993 proved to be his international breakthrough. Botha, who is one of the few dramatic tenors to have found success in German and Italian repertoire alike, today performs at the leading opera houses around the world. He has sung at La Scala in Milan, at London’s Covent Garden, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Chicago Lyric Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and the Berlin and Bavarian Staatsoper companies. Currently his home base is the Vienna Staatsoper, where he debuted in 1996 as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca and has since performed in numerous new productions. In 2010 he appeared for the first time at the Bayreuth Festival as Siegmund in Die Walküre. Botha’s repertoire ranges from Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio through Verdi and the Italian verismo roles to Wagner and Strauss. In the 2012-13 season he sang Verdi’s Otello in New York and Munich, Wagner’s Stolzing and Siegmund in Vienna, and Parsifal under Christian Thielemann at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In the concert hall he performed in Verdi’s Requiem in Hamburg and in Beethoven’s Ninth at the Berlin Staatsoper. He has worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, and Simon Rattle. Since 2004 Johan Botha has been an Austrian Kammersänger, and in 2012 he was appointed ambassador of the Blue Shield Foundation.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 26 August 2004 as Florestan in a concert performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio under the direction of Daniel Barenboim.

July 2013