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Johan Botha on Saturday’s Met

Johan Botha with Amanda Majeski and Dmitry Ivashchenko in Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg"

Johan Botha with Amanda Majeski and Dmitry Ivashchenko in Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg"

The Metropolitan Opera, Saturday at 11:00 am


South African opera singer Johan Botha is a regular at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In recent year, he’s sung Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and opened Lyric’s season last year as Otello. He’s been Lohengrin, and comes back to Chicago in February as Tannhäuser. The 49-year-old heldentenor is made for these heftier roles.

The heldentenor is a voice type that can sing comfortably in the high tenor range, while possessing a depth, almost a thickness in his timbre, which reaches into that upper range. Some even refer to the heldentenor as a baritone with an upper extension. The word helden refers to heroes or heroic in German, which offers some insight into the type of roles sung by Mr. Botha.

On Saturday, he will be back in the shoes of the Meistersinger for a performance of Wagner’s epic comedy at the Metropolitan Opera. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is epic in scale: it is a six-hour opera, requiring an earlier start time of 11:00 am.

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