Josef Hopferwieser

25 May 1938 Graz – 9 July 2015 Graz

Josef Hopferwieser sings Ariadne auf Naxos: Circe, Circe , with Gwyneth Jones, Lotte Schädle, Hertha Töpper, and Marianne Seibel
In RA format

He was originally a car varnisher and had his own repair shop; but since he had grown up with music (his father was an organ maker), he studied also voice as a hobby. With time, it became more than just a hobby, and he made his debut as Almaviva in Braunschweig 1964. After Braunschweig, he was in Essen (1967–69) and Frankfurt (1969–73). His repertory grew gradually heavier, and when he was accepted into the troupe of the Vienna Staatsoper in 1973, he was a light heldentenor.

He stayed at the Staatsoper until retiring in 1998, singing 35 roles in 476 performances – both main and comprimario parts, ranging from Bacchus to the First Grail Knight in Parsifal, but with a clear prevalence of small roles. The part he sang most often at the Staatsoper was the First Armed Man in Zauberflöte (83 performances). His name on the playbill was not exactly making Vienna operagoers rejoice.

When singing as a guest at various German theaters, he regularly appeared in main roles, even as German (Braunschweig 1992).

Reference 1: archives of the Wiener Staatsoper, reference 2, picture source

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