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Hermann Prey (1929 - 1998)


Prey grew up in the era of Germany’s Third Reich and would have been drafted into the army had not World War II ended just in time. Having studied singing at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Gunther Baum and Jaro Prohaska, he won a singing competition organised by Hesse radio in Frankfurt in 1952, the year in which he also gave his first professional song recital, and made his operatic debut in 1953 at Wiesbaden as Monuccio / Tiefland.

In the same year Prey joined the Hamburg State Opera, where he remained a member until 1960, singing in that year’s premiere of Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg. He also began to appear at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and (from 1956) at the Vienna State Opera. He first sang in 1959 at both the Bavarian State Opera, Munich and at the Salzburg Festival as Schneidebart / Die schweigsame Frau. Prey returned to both centres frequently: at Salzburg he sang Guglielmo / Così fan tutte (1960– 1965, 1972–1977), Papageno / Die Zauberflöte (1967–1968,1970, 1974) and the Count / Le nozze di Figaro (1971) as well as giving numerous concerts and recitals. Roles at the Bayreuth Festival included Wolfram / Tannhäuser (1965–1967) and later Beckmesser / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1981–1984 and 1986).

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Discography


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