Born September 2nd, 1957 in Bludenz, Herwig Pecoraro was a rural policeman in his native Vorarlberg (Austria's westernmost
region). He already had intentions of becoming a singer when he, without knowing her at all, addressed
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf about it, who spent her holiday in the Vorarlberg mountains. She thought well of his
voice, and on her recommendation, he began studying in Modena with Arrigo Pola, the teacher of both
Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni.
Pecoraro spent his first years as a singer at the Graz opera, where he
sang comprimario parts and, in the lyrical repertory, also main parts; then he was engaged by the Vienna
Volksoper, and in 1991, by the Vienna Staatsoper, as a comprimario – an unusual comprimario for modern
times, since he had a real voice and (in his younger years at least) an excellent, easy top. His problem,
frankly, was his extraordinarily unpleasant timbre; the voice was simply ugly, and the technique also not of
utmost refinement, but really secure. In several concerts, he sang the notorious aria from La fille du
régiment, and he's the only one I've ever heard sing it in Italian – a crazy translation forcing
the singer to do some of the high Cs on the Italian vowel i (ee, for English speakers).
Pecoraro's Pedrillo, above all, was an important
achievement, and it was no easy job for a "principal" tenor to sing Belmonte to that Pedrillo.
After 2000, Pecoraro reduced the number of his performances; he was the head of the Staatsoper's
artistic staff association, and he made his hobby a second job: in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, he founded
a manufacture of top-quality balsamic vinegar, Modena style (of course, a second fruit of his voice
studies once upon a time in Modena). His vinegar has an excellent reputation with gourmets, and is great for lovers of the
sweeter variants of balsamico. His website is about vinegar only, and
you can buy it there.