Eberhard Waechter (baritone)

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Eberhard Waechter

Eberhard Freiherr von Waechter[a] (9 July 1929 – 29 March 1992) was an Austrian baritone celebrated for his performances in the operas of Mozart, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. After retiring from singing, he became Intendant of the Vienna Volksoper and the Vienna State Opera.

Born in Vienna, Waechter studied at the University of Vienna and the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1953, he began voice lessons with Elisabeth Radó. That same year he made his operatic debut, as Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, at the Vienna Volksoper. In 1954, he debuted at the Vienna State Opera. In 1956, he debuted at Covent Garden, as Count Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and at the Salzburg Festival, as Arbace in Mozart's Idomeneo; in 1958, at Bayreuth, as Amfortas in Wagner's Parsifal; in 1959, at the Paris Opera, as Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhäuser; in 1960, at both La Scala and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Count Almaviva; and, in January 1961, at the Metropolitan Opera, as Wolfram.

Awarded in 1963 the title Kammersänger, Waechter created in 1980 the role of Joseph in Gottfried von Einem's Jesu Hochzeit, opposite Karan Armstrong. Appropriately enough, given the fame of his 1959 recording in the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni title role, Waechter appeared in 1969, depicted as Don Giovanni, on the set of postal stamps issued by Austria to commemorate the centenary of the Vienna Staatsoper.[1]

In 1987 Waechter was appointed general manager of the Vienna Volksoper. Four years later he also became head of the Vienna State Opera, a position he held at the time of his death. He suffered a fatal heart attack while walking in the woods of Vienna.

Work[edit]

Waechter features in several opera recordings that enjoy classic status:

On DVD, the baritone can be seen in a 1987 Die Fledermaus from Munich, opposite Pamela Coburn, Janet Perry and Brigitte Fassbaender, conducted by Carlos Kleiber and directed by Otto Schenk.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The engraving on his grave stone is Waechter, different from his family "von Wächter"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Branscombe, Peter (2008). "Waechter, Eberhaard", in The Grove Book of Opera Singers, edited by Laura Williams Macy. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 527. ISBN 978-0195337655. 

External links[edit]