Gé Korsten

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Gé Korsten (Gérard) (1927-1999) [1] was a Dutch-born South African singer and actor.


Gé Korsten (1929-1999) was born in Rotterdam and came to South Africa in 1936. In 1952 he started his vocal studies under Adelheid Armhold. He was one of the founder members of the Pretoria Opera Group, but started his career as a tradesman.

He made a name for himself in opera as a tenor, with a repertoire of more than twenty opera roles to his credit and received the Nederburg Opera Prize in 1975 for the portrayal of the title role in Andrea Chénier. Besides opera, Korsten has sung in oratorio and numerous concerts countrywide.

He went on to a lucrative career as a hugely popular recording artist in the mold of Mario Lanza, singing light classics and popular melodies - and winning numerous Sarie and Artes awards and ten golden disks in the process. He reached superstar status in the light music industry, recording 57 LP albums between 1965 and 1996, more than any other South African singer, and became a popular film and TV personality.

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

His performances for the Performing Arts Councils for example include such perrenial favourites as Kismet (PACT, 1973), The Student Prince, The Merry Widow (PACT, 1983), Evita (PACT, 1981).

His opera roles include: Rodolfo in La bohème (1959, 1969, 1971, 1976); First Man in Armour in Die Zauberflöte (1960); Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (1960, 1967, 1968, 1973); Manrico in Il trovatore (1964, 1966, 1975); Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (1969, 1971, 1973, 1974); Alfredo in La traviata (1971); Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (1971); Andrea Chénier in Andrea Chénier (1974, 1975); Don José in Carmen (1974); Alfred in Die Fledermaus (1974); Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca (1975); Calaf in Turandot (1975); Laca Klemeň in Jenůfa (1976); Faust in Faust (1976); Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (1978).

In 1985 he became Chief Director of CAPAB and retired in 1990.

Among his films is Hoor My Lied.


Tucker, 1997.

Alexandra Mossolow. 2003. The Career of South African Soprano Nellie du Toit, Born 1929. University of Stellenbosch. Unpublished Masters thesis.

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