Wolfgang Schmidt

born 19 August 1956 Kassel

He studied voice at the Frankfurt academy of music, graduating in 1982, and had his first three contracts – two seasons each – in Hof, Kiel and Dortmund. From 1988, he was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf and Duisburg), where he stayed, and sang well into the 2010s. Guest appearances, however, took him all over the world: first to all important German theaters (Cologne, Karlsruhe, Hannover, Dresden, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin), then to Barcelona, Paris (Opéra Bastille), Covent Garden London, San Francisco, Chicago, the Vienna Staatsoper (regularly from 1991 to 2012), the Bayreuth Festival (every year from 1992 to 2002), the Met (1993, 1994, 1997 and 2009), La Scala (both Siegfrieds, 1997 and 1999).

An impressive career, no doubt, and in the very heaviest repertory: Otello, Grigorij, German, Florestan, Max, Lohengrin, Erik, Siegmund, both Siegfrieds, Tristan, Tannhäuser, Stolzing, Bacchus, Pedro, Calaf; later in his career, Ägisth, Herodes, Mime. Admittedly, I'm speechless at all his successes; I heard him as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung in a Vienna Staatsoper premiere in 1993, where he stepped in for Siegfried Jerusalem, and he was so abominable (flat-voiced, constantly overstrained, lacking any grace or musicality) that I avoided his performances ever since.

Picture source: Deutsche Oper am Rhein
Reference 1 and soundfile source: Wolfgang Schmidt's website, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens

Wolfgang Schmidt singsDie Walküre: Ein Schwert verhieß mir der Vater

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