Gerhard Stolze

1 October 1926 Dessau – 11 March 1979 Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Gerhard Stolze singsTannhäuser: Den Bronnen, den uns Wolfram nannte

Gerhard Stolze singsSiegfried: Willkommen, Siegfried!, with Wolfgang Windgassen (Siegfried)

Gerhard Stolze singsLuisa Miller: Führt zum Altar, zum Grabe mich

After coming home from the war, he became an actor in Bautzen, at the Komödienhaus in Dresden, and with a touring company. Dresden was where he started studying voice, and where he made his tenor debut in 1949 as Augustin Moser in Meistersinger. His breakthrough came at the Bayreuth Festival 1951, again as Augustin Moser; he returned to Bayreuth every year until 1962, singing – beside several really small parts – Walther von der Vogelweide, Froh, Mime, Loge and the Young Seaman.

Small parts was what he sang throughout his career, but with tremendous success. (That he was capable of more than that is proved by the above Luisa Miller excerpt, which is quite surprising!) His everyday job was at the Berlin Staatsoper from 1953 to 1961, and as a regular guest in Stuttgart and at the Vienna Staatsoper, where he became a regular member in 1961. He sang in many world premieres, most notably in Orff's Oedipus der Tyrann (Vienna Staatsoper, 27 April 1961). At the Salzburg Festival, he was Ägisth (1965) and Shujskij (1966 and 1967). In 1968, he made his Met debut as Loge; he returned to sing Mime in Siegfried, and Herodes. Further guest appearances: Stockholm, Zürich, Barcelona, Paris Opéra, Teatro San Carlo in Naplus, La Fenice in Venice.

Reference: Kutsch & Riemens

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