Erich Kunz

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Erich Kunz (20 May 1909 in Vienna – 8 September 1995 in Vienna) was an Austrian operatic light baritone, particularly associated with the roles of Papageno and Beckmesser.

He studied in Vienna with Lierhammer and Duhan, and made his stage debut in Opava, as Osmin, in 1933. He then sang in Plauen (1936–37), Breslau (1937–41).

He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1940, where he quickly established himself as a specialist of Mozart roles such as Figaro, Leporello, Guglielmo, Papageno, roles he also sang at the Salzburg Festival and Aix-en-Provence Festival. He was also renowned for his portrayal of Beckmesser, which he sang at the Bayreuth Festival in 1943 and 1951.

He made guest appearances at the Paris Opéra, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1952–54).

An outstanding singing-actor with a superb sense of comedy, he also enjoyed great success in operetta. Several recorded performances as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus are available.

He can be seen as Faninal in Herbert von Karajan's movie of Der Rosenkavalier with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.