Originally a Mozart singer with a somewhat mewling voice,
Seiffert then became one of the finest lyrical tenors of his generation (he was married to Lucia Popp,
who worked on his voice with him).
He is an unfortunate example for a singer ruining his vocal
gifts by constantly singing too heavy roles: first, he ventured into Lohengrin, and the result was not
only excellent, it was astonishing. I'm sure I'll never again hear such a great Lohengrin. He sang it
in a pure lyrical tone, singing over the Wagnerian orchestra with sheer means of vocal technique,
without pushing a single note, and yet shining and brillant. Of course, this Lohengrin should have
remained a rare exception; it was clear for everybody that he was NOT a Wagner tenor, just a tenor
who could perform a miraculous Lohengrin, provided that he'd do it just once in a time. Well, it was clear
for everybody except for himself.
After his enormous Lohengrin success, he continued singing ONLY heavy
parts, Siegmund, Stolzing, Florestan, Erik... His next Lohengrin just three or so years later showed already
alarming signs of strain, and soon after, the voice was a wreck, with a wobble you could drive a bus through. Which
didn't prevent him from adding Otello, Tannhäuser
(!) and Tristan (!) to his repertory.
And at the time of updating this file (2022), he's still going on unperturbedly, and sings
Tannhäuser and Parsifal in Berlin and Budapest – at age 68, although he already sounded like a 95-year-old some ten
A few years after Lucia Popp's
premature death, he married another soprano, Petra Maria Schnitzer.