Kurt Wehofschitz

3 May 1923 Vienna – 29 December 1979

Picture of Kurt Wehofschitz
Wehofschitz (right) with John Modenos

Wehofschitz studied voice at the academy of music in Vienna.

He had his first contract in Linz from 1948 to 1953 (debut role: Wilhelm Meister). 1953/54 Kiel, 1954–56 Nürnberg, 1956–59 Bavarian State Opera Munich, 1959–64 Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg, 1964–66 Frankfurt, from 1966 at the Vienna Volksoper, where he sang until his career petered out in the 1970s.

His voice cannot have been very large, and he had not a very characteristic timbre, but he was an excellent singer with a truly remarkable top. Not for long, unfortunately: an unhappy marriage and alcolholism caused premature decline. By the time he sang in Düsseldorf, he was already reduced to singing small or very small parts, and the occasional main role only when stepping in for a sick colleague; for the Düsseldorf public, he was mostly a nuisance. At the Vienna Volksoper, he sang no opera anymore, only operetta.

Wehofschitz made a surprisingly large number of recordings of complete operas and operettas for the radio, the TV and also on disc – mostly of very unusual and interesting repertory, often (but by no means always) in comprimario parts. Plus he left a series of private recordings that captured him in great form; those recordings remained, after his early death, with the other half of the unhappy marriage, who was less than eager to make them available. Two very important Vienna collectors managed to talk her into allowing them to transfer at least some of them; see below for examples (Turandot, Der Lenz).

Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 2

Kurt Wehofschitz sings Die große Sünderin: Das Leben des Schrenk
In RA format
Radio recording, poor sound quality, great singing.

Kurt Wehofschitz sings Der Lenz
Kurt Wehofschitz imitating Leo Slezak. Quite malicious, and hilarious!

Kurt Wehofschitz sings Turandot: Keiner schlafe

Kurt Wehofschitz sings Manon: Flieh, o flieh
I wish to thank Christian Tögl for the recordings (Manon, Turandot).

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