December 15, 2003 by

Hans Hotter

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Categories: Musicians

hhotter.jpgHans Hotter, a world renowned opera singer, died on Dec. 6. Cause of death was not released. He was 94.
A naturalized Austrian, Hotter studied piano and musical theory at the Munich Academy. Although he planned to become a conductor, vocal coach Matthäus Roemer convinced him to make singing his profession. Hotter launched his operatic career in 1930.
The leading Wagnerian bass-baritone of his time, Hotter was best known for his Wotan in “Ring Cycle.” The part of Jupiter in Strauss’s “Die Liebe Der Danae” was written expressly for him, but its premiere was disrupted in 1944 when all theatres were closed after an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.
Hotter sang with the Munich Opera for more than half a century, and as a member of the Vienna Opera from 1939 to 1970. He performed in venues all over Europe, and made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1950. He also worked as a producer and director; his final production was “Fidelio” in Chicago in 1981.
The Bavarian State Opera plans to dedicate a performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in his honor.

2 Responses to Hans Hotter

  1. Edwin L. Bedford

    For me, Hans Hotter was the greatest singer I ever heard, both live on the stage and on records. Fortunately, his relationship with the San Francisco Opera was greater than with the Met and we heard him as Wotan (with Nilsson, Rysanek and Suthaus!) the Dutchman (first with Borkh, then with Rysanek!), Rangoni (in Russian with Christoff!), Count Almaviva (in Italian with Albanese!), Pizarro and, in his 80’s, Schigolch. Also a recital and in Gurrelieder and a masterclass. Lucky us! Then for me there were the Knappertsbusch-Varnay Rings in Bayreuth in ’56 and 57, plus one in Munich in ’57 and that fabulous Walkure in Wien under von Karajan (with Nilsson, Rysanek, Madeira, Frick and Suthaus). In all, VERY lucky me. He was a major influence in my musical life on records from 1946 on. I treasure all of them. Leb’ wohl, Hans. Ed Bedford, Newport, Oregon

  2. SoMG

    You must hear him sing the Angel Raphael and also Adam in Haydn’s DIE SCHOPFUNG. No one projects reverence and benevolent power like this. With near-equal geniuses Walther Ludwig and Irmgard Seefried. Like many listeners I was turned off of him at first by his broken-backed Wotan/Wanderer on Solti’s recording, and his wobbly Gurnemanz on the Knappertsbusch 1962 performance. This SCHOPFUNG was how I learned what the shouting was about. Then I heard the Keilberth 1952 RING and that was it.

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