Deon van der Walt was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1958 and studied singing at the University of Stellenbosch. He made his debut as Jaquino in Fidelio at the Kapstady Opera house even before graduating and numerous scholarships and awards allowed him to continue his studies abroad. In 1981 he won the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg.
His first formal engagements took him to Gelsenkirchen, Stuttgart and Zurich. He made his debut at Covent Garden in 1985 as Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville. Since then he has been counted amongst the leading lyric tenors and has performed at La Scala, Milan, the Hamburg and Vienna State Operas, the Bavarian State Opera (Munich) the Liceu (Barcelona) and New York Metropolitan Opera. He has also recorded a number of roles and be prominent in many filmed works. He has worked with a number of leading conductors and has given numerous concerts and recitals. Whilst he has probably specialized in Mozart, he has performed with success in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Massenet’s Manon, and Donizetti’s Fille du Regiment. Deon van der Walt died at at his wine farm in South Africa. He was shot twice in the chest by his own father, who then committed suicide. Deon was 47.