World renowned PE soprano dies at age 65

Shanaaz Prince

RENOWNED South African soprano Elizabeth Connell has sung her last song, but will be remembered for the mark she left within the international opera community.

She died in London at the weekend at the age of 65.

Hailing from Port Elizabeth, Connell, or Liza as she was affectionately known, was regarded as a natural musical talent.

After studying music at the University of the Witwatersrand, Connell made her debut performance at Ireland’s Wexford festival in 1972 and sang at the opening of Sydney’s spectacular new Opera House in 1973.

Long-time friend Andre Louw said his former classmate was a down-to-earth diva who was always full of life.

Connell sang in major opera houses around the world in dramatic operas by Verdi, Wagner, Bellini, Beethoven and Strauss.

Cape Town Opera choirmaster Albert Horne said: “Elizabeth’s death is definitely a great loss to the opera community.

“She will be remembered for her willingness to share and cultivate South African talent.”

Diagnosed with lung cancer between May and June last year, Connell’s death came as a shock to her family, especially her brother Peter, who lives in East London.

Connell’s funeral is set for Sunday in London. She is survived by three brothers and a sister.

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