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EBERHARD WÄCHTER, Baritone * 8 July 1929, Vienna, Austria + 29 March 1992, Vienna, Austria;

10 Jul

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Opera Singer. A noted baritone of the late 20th Century, he later became a respected operatic administrator. Raised in Vienna, he studied at the University of Vienna and at the Vienna Academy of Music before making his 1953 professional debut with the Vienna Volksoper as Silvio from Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci”. First heard at the Vienna State Opera in 1954, he made his 1956 bow at Covent Garden, London, as Count Almaviva from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and that same year gave his first performances at Salzburg as two other Mozartian characters, Arabace from “Idomeneo” and the title rogue of “Don Giovanni”. Wachter made his initial appearance at Wagner’s Bayreuth Festspielhaus in 1958 as Amfortis in “Parsifal” and bowed at the Paris Opera in 1959 as Wolfram from Wagner’s “Tannhauser”. He was to use Count Almaviva for his 1960 bows at both La Scala Milano and the Lyric Opera of Chicago while audiences at New York’s Metropolitan Opera first saw him in 1961 as Wolfram. Over the course of his career Wachter was to take part in a number of recordings that are now considered classics including “Der Rosenkavalier” (1956) on EMI with Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti’s 1958 “Das Rheingold” for Decca, and EMI’s 1959 “The Marriage of Figaro” conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini”. In 1963 Wachter was designated Kammersanger, a now honorary title that in olden times meant ‘Court Singer’; after leaving the stage he became general manager of the Vienna Volksoper in 1987 then added the helm of the Vienna State Opera to his duties in 1991. He died of a sudden heart attack. (bio by: Bob Hufford)

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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in Baritones

 

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