Otto Edelmann

Bass-baritone singer

Otto Edelmann, world-renowned bass-baritone, died Wednesday May 14 in Vienna, the Vienna Opera announced. He was 86.

He was a favorite choice for Wagnerian roles, making major appearances in La Scala, Bayreuth, Vienna and New York’s Met.

A native of Brunn am Gebirge, he trained at the Vienna Music Academy (now the Vienna U. for Music and Performing Arts) and debuted in 1937 as Figaro in Gera. He sang in Nuremberg until 1940, when he was drafted into Germany’s army. Captured by the Soviets, he spent years as a prisoner of war but emerged after WWII to star at the Vienna State Opera and, beginning in 1947, had a 36-year career there in 430 performances and 36 roles.

Signature roles included Hans Sachs in Wagner’s “Meistersinger,” Baron Ochs in Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier,” one of his signature roles, Waldner in “Arabella” and numerous others including Verdi’s “Falstaff,” King Philip in “Don Carlo,” Mephistopheles in Gounod’s “Faust” and more.

His last performance was in late 1976 as Waldner in Vienna. He then turned to teaching at the Vienna Music Academy.

He is survived by wife Ilse-Marie Straub; two sons, Peter and Paul, both lyric baritones; and a daughter.

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