17 December 1929
Nellie duToit was born on 17 December 1929 in Pietersburg (now Polokwane) into a musical family. Thus, Nellie du Toit began her singing career at tender age of nine, and by the age of sixteen she began to sing opera. After completing her school education in 1946, she enrolled for the Diploma in Opera Singing at the South African College of Music in Cape Town singing in various university opera productions. Under the her teachers, Adelheid Armhold (voice) and Gregorio Fiasconaro (opera coach), Nellie du Tiot obtained her Diploma with distinction in 1952 and left for Lodnon where studied for two years. While she was in Britain, she sang in various roles with a touring company for the arts council of Great Britain. On returning to South Africa Nellie duToit won an overseas scholarship for the Performance Licentiate of UNISA and went to study in Austria. Between 1957 until 1962 Nellie du Toit was actively engaged in various opera productions of Alessandro Rota's National Opera Society of South Africa, the Opera Vereniging van Suid-Afrika (OPSA), the Pretoria Opera Group and the South African Federation of Opera. She was also employed as a lecturer for singing at the Pretoria Conservatoire for Music from 1959 to 1961. After 1963 she became increasingly involved in the opera productions of the four provincial Regional Councils for the Performing Arts. In 1970 she was a finalist in the world wide Madama Butterfly competition in Tokyo. Three years later in 1973 she was awarded the Nederburg Opera Prize for her Cape Town performance of Madama Butterfly, a role she played more than 100 times. Nellie du Toit was awarded the Medal-of-Honour from the Academy of Science and Art for her contribution to music in South Africa in 1976. In 1980 Nellie was engaged by the University of Stellenbosch as vocal teacher and Head of the Singing Department. Eight years later she was awarded a Doctorate in Music (D.Mus) honoris causa by the University of Stellenbosch.