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Gerhard Stolze

Gerhard Stolze

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Gerhard Stolze

Gerhard Stolze (1 October 1926, Dessau – 11 March 1979, Garmisch-Partenkirchen) was a German tenor. He was a character tenor best known as a Wagner singer. His signature role was Mime (Das Rheingold, Siegfried). Other important roles were David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Loge (Das Rheingold), Aegisth (Elektra) and Herod (Salome). He also sang the Captain in Wozzeck and, the roles of Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and the Emperor Nero, both of which were originally written for countertenor. He recorded Mozart's high-tenor Singspiel roles, Monostatos and Pedrillo. He portrays Mime on both the studio recordings of Siegfried by Herbert von Karajan and Georg Solti. His voice was very high, thin, and piercing, and capable of an extraordinary range of colors. His style sharply divided critics and audiences, especially in the roles of Mime and Herod. It was denigrated as being over-neurotic, glorified sprechstimme by some, while others praised it for its deep characterization and astonishing virtuosity. He made his debut in 1949 at the State Opera in Dresden as Moser, one of the Mastersingers in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the same role in which he was make his first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival in 1951. He was a member of the Berlin State Opera from 1953–1961. Other house debuts include the Vienna State Opera in 1957, the Covent Garden in 1960, (as Mime in a complete Ring under Solti,) and the Metropolitan Opera in 1968 as Loge. He sang in the first performances or first stagings of Werner Egk's Der Revisor, Heimo Erbse's Julietta, Carl Orff's Oedipus der Tyrann, Frank Martin's Le mystère de la Nativité, and Giselher Klebe's Jacobowsky und der Oberst.