Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday: Mimi Coertse

"The Lass with the Delicate Air"
(composed by Michael Arne)
Mimi Coertse (born 12 June 1932), is a South African soprano. Coertse, born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, matriculated at the Helpmekaar Girls High School in Johannesburg. She began vocal studies in South Africa in 1949. In July 1953 she married the broadcaster and composer Dawid Engela. 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. Coertse made her debut in January 1955 as the First Flower girl in Wagner's Parsifal at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Karl Böhm 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. Her Covent Garden debut was in 1956, in the same role. Coertse sang

"Nun's Chorus" Casanova
(J. Strauss)
the soprano part in Bach's Matthäus-Passion at Fritz Wunderlich's first appearance in Vienna in 1958, when he performed 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 Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Vienna State Opera which also featured Fritz Wunderlich as Belmonte. Coertse has sung in theatres at Aix-en-Provence, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Covent Garden, Düsseldorf, Glyndebourne, Graz, Hamburg, Linz, London, Melk, Naples, Palermo, Salzburg, Stuttgart, The Hague, Turin and Wiesbaden and with conductors like Karl Böhm, Vittorio Gui, Alberto Erede, Heinrich Hollreiser, Herbert von Karajan, Joseph Keilberth, Jascha Horenstein, Rudolf Kempe, Josef
Krips, Rafael Kubelík, Erich Leinsdorf, Wilhelm Loibner, Lorin Maazel, Dimitri

"The Russian Nightingale"
Le Rossignol (Alabiev)
Mitropoulos, Edouard van Remoortel, Rudolf Moralt, Heinz Wallberg, Nello Santi, Giuseppe Patane, John Pritchard, Argeo Quadri, Mario Rossi, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Hermann Scherchen, Georg Solti, Hans Swarowsky, Horst Stein, George Szell, Silvio Varviso, Antonino Votto and Berislav Klobučar. Among the famous singers who have partnered her were Eberhard Wächter, Jean Madeira, Giuseppe di Stefano, Alfredo Kraus, George London, Walter Berry, Rudolf Christ, Renate Holm, Boris Christoff, Anton Dermota, Otto Edelmann, Cesare Siepi, Giuseppe Taddei, Ettore Bastianini, Luciano Pavarotti, Aldo Protti, Simon Estes, Hilde Gueden, Johannes Heesters, Sena Jurinac, Waldemar Kmentt, Peter Schreier, Gottlob Frick, Paul Schöffler, Erich Kunz, Christa Ludwig, Julius Patzak, Murray Dickie, Luigi Alva, Helge Rosvaenge, Rudolf

"Als Geblüht Der Kirschenbaum"
Der Vogelhändler (Zeller)
Schock, Birgit Nilsson, Teresa Stich-Randall, Gwyneth Jones, Otto Wiener, Heinz Holecek and Giuseppe Zampieri. She is also well-known in South Africa for Afrikaans art songs. 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

"Op my ou ramkietjie"
South African folksong
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). For more information about the history of this South African soprano, please click here. To purchase past recordings on CD, visit this link here for good quality transfers. [Source]

"Nel cor piu non mi sento" La Molinara (Paisiello)

"Ardon gl'incensi" Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)

"Großmächtige Prinzessin" Ariade auf Naxos (R. Strauss)

"Je suis Titania" [in German] Mignon (Thomas)

"Glitter and Be Gay" [in German] Candide (Bernstein)

"Casta diva" Norma (Bellini)

"Der Hölle Rache" Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)

"Signora ascolta" Turandot (Puccini)

"Quando m'en vo" La Bohème (Puccini)

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