Nellie du Toit

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Nellie du Toit (1929-2018) is a well-known South African soprano.


She died in Stellenbosch in August 2018.


Her full-time music studies took place at the South African College of Music in Cape Town, from 1950 to 1952, with drama training under Leonard Schach and Rosalie van der Gucht. The latter training was particularly useful in her work as an opera singer.

Du Toit's repertoire of operas sung in student performances (1950-1953) included: Beatrice et Benedict (Hero); The Telephone (Lucy); The Medium (Monica); La serva padrona (Serpina); Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta); Suor Angelica (Angelica); Dido and Aeneas (Dido); Il segreto di Susanna (Susanna).

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Making her career almost exclusively in South Africa, she became one of South Africa's most illustrious opera singers of the 1960's and 1970s. In addition she proved to be a highly sought after voice teacher for over 40 years.

While on tour in the United Kingdom in 1953-1954, du Toit performed in Così fan tutte (as Fiordiligi); Le nozze di Figaro (as Susanna); and La cenerentola (as Clorinde).

Her repertoire of opera roles in South Africa (from 1957 to 1986) was as follows:

Nellie du Toit also appeared in The Desert Song (as Margot), The Student Prince (as Kathy) and Die Fledermaus (as Rosalinde).


Nellie du Toit was awarded The Medal of Honour by the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences (30 September 1986); and an Honorary Doctorate in Music was conferred on her by Stellenbosch University on 8 December 1998.


Alexandra Xenia Sabina Mossolow[1]. 2003. The career of South African soprano Nellie du Toit, born 1929. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Stellenbosch.[2]

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