Obituary: Sidwell Hartman Dies At 62

By Francisco Salazar

Renown tenor Sidwill Hartman has died at the age of 62.

Hartman died of a heart attack on Tuesday, May 7 while teaching a class of students at the SA College of Music, which is also UCT’s music department.

The tenor was well-known locally in Cape Town and was well-regarded internationally across Europe for his many groundbreaking performances.

Early in his career, he gained success at the University of Cape Town Opera School, where he studied under Gregorio Fiasconaro, Desiree Talbot and Michael Brimer. There he went on to perform in a production of Puccini’s “La Bohème” and “Werther.” He garnered great acclaim and landed an audition at the Juilliard School where he would study with Simon Estes and Enrico di Giuseppe.

From there he went on to perform at the Royal Opera House, Opera de Paris, and the Vienna State Opera, among other great theaters.  He was also loyal to his country and he performed with the  State Theatre in Pretoria and Capab Opera, where he was a principal tenor.

Among the roles, he was well-known for included Radamès in Calaf in “Turandot,” “Aida,” Cavaradossi in “Tosca” and Rodolfo in “La Bohème”

Jeremy Silver, director of the UCT Opera School, said in a statement: “I met him a few years ago after I saw him perform in 2005. He was such a wonderful singer. “We would always speak about the different students at the school and he was always so supportive towards the students, they just loved him.”  He added that Hartman always displayed a great sense of empathy for his students and would support them.

Former opera singer Peter Kramer said his experience of singing with Hartman was that it had been “the easiest thing to do” because he would always make one feel at ease on stage while performing.

Here he is in “Tosca” and Turandot.”