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Gé Korsten in his debut role as Canio in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.
|Birth name||Gérard Korsten|
|Born||December 6, 1927|
|Died||September 29, 1999(aged 71)|
Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands as the youngest of eight children, Korsten and his family emigrated to South Africa when he was nine years old. He married Elna Burger and had five children, among them renowned conductor and violinist Gérard Korsten.
Initially he worked as an electrician, but from the age of 20, started singing in choirs. However, he received his first formal vocal training in 1952, when he was well into his 20s, studying under Adelheid Armhold at the South African College of Music.
Korsten won a bursary to study in Vienna in 1962, where he received tuition under Judith Hellwig. During this period he had the opportunity to perform in Vienna and Munich, but he never sang professionally outside South Africa, mainly due to family considerations. It was only in 1970 that Korsten sold his business to devote himself to full-time singing. In the course of his operatic career, Korsten appeared on stage more than 3,000 times, playing 23 roles in most of the major operas.
In 1965, Korsten started his career in light music, with his album Gé Korsten Sing Uit Die Hart (English: Gé Korsten Sings From The Heart), and soon became a best-selling recording artist, with a career spanning 40 years. Nine of his 58 albums achieved gold status. Most of his recorded work is light Afrikaans music, including the song "Liefling" (English: Sweetheart), which is still performed at rugby matches in Bloemfontein and Pretoria. His popularity as a singer also led to lead roles in films such as Hoor My Lied (English: Hear My Song), Lied In My Hart (English: Song In My Heart) and A New Life, all of which included singing scenes. He received six Sarie awards and, in 1979, an ARTES award for his TV program Gé Sing (English: Gé Sings).
In 1985, he was appointed the managing director of the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) in Cape Town, a post which he held until 1989.
- Mphuthing, Poppie (2008-04-17). "The Times profiles the Lifetime Achievement nominees : Gé Korsten". Sunday Times (South Africa). Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-08.