Hans Hopf

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Hans Hopf (August 2, 1916, Nuremberg - June 25, 1993, Munich) was a German operatic tenor, one of the leading heldentenors of the immediate postwar period. His Walter, from Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, was legendary, the Bayreuth festival's exclusive choice from 1951-5.

He studied in Munich with Paul Bender, and made his stage debut with a touring opera ensemble, as Pinkerton, in 1936. He then sang in Augsburg (1939–42), Dresden (1942–43), and Oslo (1943–44). He joined the Berlin State Opera in 1946, and the Munich State Opera, in 1949. He appeared in Bayreuth in 1951, as Walther, returning as Siegmund, Siegfried (in 1960), Tannhäuser, and Parsifal (in 1952). His performance at Bayreuth in 1951 was also notable for his remarkable contribution to one of the finest recordings of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ever committed to disk; under the direction of legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. He sang Max at the Salzburg Festival in 1954. He made guest appearances in Milan, London, New York, and Buenos Aires. He sang both Siegfrieds in the early 1960s at Bayreuth, the Met, and elsewhere, recording Tannhäuser twice in 1960.

A singer with a sturdy and reliable voice, Hopf also won acclaim in a number of Italian operas notably Verdi's Otello, and the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Selected recordings[edit]


  • Grove Music Online, Harold Rosenthal, May 2008.