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Wolfgang Anheisser (Baritone)

Born: December 1, 1929 – Köln (Cologne), Germany
Died: January 5, 1974 - Köln, Germany

The German baritone, Wolfgang Anheisser, was the son of the musicologist and Mozart scholar Siegfried Anheisser. Through his mother, who hierself had been a singer, he received his first lessons. In 1954 he began studiing at the came to the Musikhochschule of Freiburg. From from 1955 to 1960, he continued his studies at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg (South Africa), where his voice trainer was Annie Hartmann. In South Africa, he appeared occasionally.

In 1960 Wolfgang Anheisser returned to Germany and made his debut in 1961 at the Staatsoper of Munich as Nardo in La Finta Giardiniera by Mozart. In 1963-1964 he worked at the Stadttheater of Gelsenkirchen. Since 1964, he was a leading baritone at the Opera of Cologne. In 1968-1969 he was also a member of the Staatsoper Berlin. Guest appearances have taken him to the opera houses of Wiesbaden, Wuppertal, Antwerp, Florence, Palermo, Hamburg, Lisbon and Houston (Texas), also to Copenhagen, Madrid, Prague, Rome and Milan; concert tours to South Africa and Japan. He sang in 1973 in the premiere of C. Orff’s De Temporum fine comoedia 'at the Salzburg Festival. One of his best roles was especially Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville , but he also excelled as Kreon in Orpheus und Eurydike by J. Haydn (Cologne, 1968), the title role in Giulio Cesare by George Frideric Handel, the Count in The Mariiage of Figaro, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Count Eberbach in Wildschütz and the Zar in Zar und Zimmermann by Lortzing, Germont-père in La Traviata, Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, Posa in Verdi's Don Carlos, Valentin in Faust by Charles Gounod and Escamillo in Carmen. He was a highly esteemed concert and oratorio singer, but also had major successes in the field of operetta.

Wolfgang Anheisser died in a tragic stage accident in the opera house. In the New Year in 1974 during a performance of Millöcker’s Bettelstudent in Cologne, he fell from a balcony, which was not sufficiently secured, to the stage and died a few days later from his injuries.

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (April 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Diethard Hellmann


BWV 137

Links to other Sites

Wolfgang Anheisser (Wikipedia) [German]

Wolfgang Anheisser und andere (KSTA) [German]

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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