Doris Brasch passes away at 82

Doris Brasch passes away at 82

21.01.2012  The beloved South African soprano Doris Brasch passed away at the age of 82. She was born in Johannesburg on 19 September 1929.

Brasch, a lyrical soprano who sang in the first staging of Die Fledermaus (Strauss) in South Africa, was also well-loved for her famous rendition of Afrikaans childrens’ songs like Die Lappop, Die Eskimo and Almal dra ‘n Jas.

She received vocal training since the age of fourteen, and when her family settled in Johannesburg in 1947, she studied with a former pupil of Lili Lehmann, Sophie Ginkewitz.  She became known through Lieder recitals and by her interpretations in radio performances of works such as Amelia Goes to the Ball (Menotti) in Afrikaans, Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky), and Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart).

She undertook frequent tours with the baritone Bob Borowsky, appeared with the Symphony Orchestras of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and made numerous commercial recordings.

The roughly 30 recordings of children’s songs in which she was partnered by Dawie Couzyn (for the Afrikaans songs) and by Bob Williams, Jimmy Rayson and Ronnie Wilson (for the English songs) were in great demand.  Most of these songs were written and composed by Betty Misheiker.

As soloist, and in conjunction with Dawie Couzyn, she also recorded Afrikaans traditional and popular music. When the former regional arts councils were launched, Doris Brasch toured for PACT and NAPAC and also visited South West Africa under the auspices of the SA Association of Arts.

She was a soloist at the investiture of the Republic of South Africa’s first State President (1961) and sang the part of the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) at the Inaugural Festival of the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg. From 1973 she presented educational music programmes at schools.

(Biography information courtesy of SA Opera Singers.)

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