The German baritone, Gerhard Niese, learned the profession of banking. However, since 1924 he was active as a choir singer. He received his training as a soloist at the Schindling'schen Gesang- und Opernschule Rostock (Schindling' Singing and Opera School Rostock) from 1924 to 1930.
Since 1930 Gerhard Niese appeared as concert and oratorio singer, however remained full-time active with the bank. During World War II he was a soldier and temporarily served wit the Special Forces. In 1945 he began his stage activity at the Stadttheater (City Theatre of Rostock), where he excited attention as Tommaso in Tiefland and as Ferrando in Troubadour. After performing the role of Scarpia in Tosca with previous experience, he discovered his gift for the character role. In 1947 he appeared as a guest as Tonio in Bajazzo at the Städtischen Oper Berlin. Then he was engaged by the Komische Oper Berlin from 1948 to 1955. After several guest appearances at the Berlin's Staatsoper, he became in 1955 an ensemble member. In 1972 he retired from the stage and lived since then in Bremen. High points from his repertoire for the stage are: Pizarro in Fidelio, Jago in Verdi's Othello, Kothner in Meistersingern, Scarpia, Amonasro in Aida, Faninal in Rosenkavalier, Barak in Frau ohne Schatten and Mandryka in Arabella by R. Strauss.
Recordings: on Eterna (Ariola), including selections from Die Hexe von Passau by Othmar Gerster and Der Günstling by Rudolf Wagner-Régeny.