He was born in Dresden, Germany, where he studied with Adolf Kluge at the Dresden Conservatory. He made his debut in 1930 in Bautzen as Kaspar, later one of his most important roles. From 1930-1950, he was a member of the Dresden State Opera, 1949 he became a member of the Munich State Opera and in 1955 a member of the Vienna State Opera. In the 1950s and 1960s he became known worldwide because of his acting talents, as Bass-Buffo Baron Ochs and also as "Bösewicht" (Kaspar 1954 with Wilhelm Furtwängler, Fafner 1958-1964 with Georg Solti). "Matteo" in Fra Diavolo; Dresden Nov. 1944.
He can be heard on numerous CDs, and seen on video in a speaking-only role (videotaped when he was 75 years old): the Third Priest in The Magic Flute (a performance from the Bayerischen Staatsoper, 1983, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch and featuring Lucia Popp, Francisco Araiza, and Kurt Moll).
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