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Hermann Prey (1929 - 1998)

Baritone Hermann Prey (1929–1998) was born in Berlin, studying at the Hochschule für Musik in that city. In 1952 he was a prizewinner of Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt. Later that year he made his debut as the Second Prisoner in Fidelio in Wiesbaden, followed by Monuccio in d’Albert’s Tiefland. Prey soon joined the Hamburg State Opera (1953-1960) and in 1957 sang in Vienna, followed two years later by appearances in Munich. Between 1960 and 1970, in six seasons, Prey appeared at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, making his debut as Wolfram in Tannhäuser. In 1965 he first sang at Bayreuth, again as Wolfram, returning as a perceptive Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) in 1981. In 1973 Prey sang Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden and subsequently reappeared as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus). Although he had sung Verdi parts in his early years, he later concentrated on Mozart and Strauss, singing Olivier (Capriccio, Hamburg 1957), Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos, Munich 1960), and Robert Storch (Intermezzo, Munich 1960). In 1997 he returned to the Salzburg Festival as Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte. In 1988 he directed a production of Le nozze di Figaro at Salzburg. He was also one of the founders of a Schubert Festival in Austria. Prey died in Munich in November 1998.


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