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Peter Hofmann

Peter Hofmann

(22 August 1944 – 30 November 2010)

Click here for recordings and performances by Peter Hofmann.

Peter Hofmann was a German heldentenor born in an area that is now part of the Czec Republic.

Starting out singing in a rock band he studied voice privately made his opera debut in 1972 as Tamino in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute at Theater Lubeck.

In 1976 he caused a stir at the Bayreuth festival where he drew many accolades for his performance of Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walküre.

For the next decade he was much in demand as one of the world's leading Wagnerian tenors performing roles like Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegfried, and Tristan at major opera houses around the world.

With his Aryian good looks and heldentenor voice that was reminicent of the great Lauritz Melchior, Peter Hofmann was seen as the ideal Wagnerian hero.

As Siegmund he performed in the Patrice Chéreau's historic centennial production of The Ring Cycle at the 1976 Bayreuth Festival.

At Bayreuth he played the title heroes in Parsifal, Lohengrin (1979 and 1982), and as Tristan in Tristan und Isolde in 1986. In 1988 he sang Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

By the end of the eighties he was experiencing serious vocal difficulties and many critics put it down to an imperfect technique- not helped by the fact he was also still performing in lighter genres of music including releasing albums of Elis Presley songs.

He abandoned the opera stage in 1989 to concentrate on recording classic rock and pop and in 1991 he played 300 performances of Phantom of The Opera in Hamburg.

In 1993 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and moved to Bayreuth to concentrate on writing his autobiography and supporting the Peter Hofmann Parkinson Project.

He had been married twice and the divorces had been so costly he was basically living in relative poverty by the time he passed away at the relatively young age of 66.

It was an ignominious end to what had once been- a very successful career .

Click here for recordings and performances by Peter Hofmann.

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