01 Dec 2005
South Africa's leading opera singer shot dead on family's wine estate
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
— Father and son die in domestic tragedy
— Country mourns loss of first 'grand slam' tenor
Rory Carroll in Johannesburg [The Guardian, 1 December 2005]
South Africa was stunned yesterday after its most famous opera singer, Deon van der Walt, was found shot dead on his family's wine estate. The 47-year-old tenor was shot twice in the chest, apparently by his father, in a domestic tragedy that left the opera world distraught and baffled.