Kurt Rydl, who is nicknamed "The Bass" and "The Mega Bass", studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and in Moscow Conservatory. He has won many prizes at several competitions. Kurt Rydl is a guest on all major festivals in Bayreuth, Schwetzingen, Salzburg, Bregenz, Florence, Verona, Munich and Glyndebourne. His opera repertoire comprises more than 80 roles in German, Italian, French, Russian and Czech works. His concert repertoire ranges from Mozart to Penderecki, and from Beethoven to Mahler, most notably his bass coloratura role as Osmin in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio.
He debuted in 1976 at the Vienna State Opera as Ferrando (Il trovatore). From there he went on to sing Colline (La Bohème), Pimen (Boris Godunov), Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Osmin (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Rocco (Fidelio), Daland (The Flying Dutchman), Roger (Jérusalem), King Henry (Lohengrin), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Geronte (Manon Lescaut), Talbot (Maria Stuarda), Veit Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Titurel and Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Hunding (Die Walküre), Fafner (Siegfried), Hagen (Götterdammerung), Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier) Morosus (Die schweigsame Frau), Landgraf (Tannhäuser), Claggart (Billy Budd) and Sarastro (The Magic Flute).
Kurt Rydl studied in the U.S. as an exchange student and is fluent in English.
In 1996 he was named Austrian Kammersänger, and in 1999 he became an Honorary Member of the Vienna State Opera. Rydl received the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class in 2001.