“The world‘s most charismatic bass” – Opera News
Rene Pape is one of the world’s most exciting singing actors, the object of countless critical raves and of constant audience enthusiasm in every major opera house in the world. A Dresden-born resident of Berlin, Mr. Pape considers New York’s Metropolitan Opera his operatic home away from home. He has appeared at the Met every season since his house debut in 1995, in more than 130 performances, and has performed four major roles for the first time there: Mephistopheles in Faust, Gurnemanz in Parsifal, Escamillo in Carmen, and the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila.
Pape has been a member of the Berlin State Opera since 1988. He first sang most of the other great roles of his career there, under music director Daniel Barenboim. Most recently he added Boris Godunov to his repertoire, and was chosen by Germany’s opera critics as “Artist of the Year” 2006 for his portrayal of the anguished czar. His King Mark in Tristan und Isolde, King Henry in Lohengrin, Sarastro in Mozart‘s Zauberflote, the title role in Don Giovanni, Pogner in Die Meistersinger, Rocco in Beethoven‘s Fidelio, and such Wagner parts as Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hunding in Die Walkure were forged at the famous house on “Unter den Linden.” There he also sang his first Ramfis in Verdi’s Aida, Figaro in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Orest in Strauss’s Elektra.
“Rene Pape is an artist who thrills his audiences with charisma, intelligence and a one-in-a-million voice: the luxurious timbre of Pape’s supple, expressive bass is unmistakable, its velvety, dark-brown texture shot with ear-catching flashes of brightness,” wrote the editor of Opera News of his first Mйphistophйlиs in April 2005.
Pape’s American engagements during the 2006-07 season include his first appearances at the Met as Sarastro in Mozart’s Zauberflote and as King Philip in Verdi’s Don Carlo, and his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Other season highlights include making his first solo arias recording, for Deutsche Grammophon, with Daniel Harding and the Dresden State Orchestra.
Last season Mr. Pape sang Beethoven‘s Missa Solemnis with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and James Levine, and portrayed King Henry in Lohengrin and Gurnemanz in Parsifal at the Met. In Europe he sang Sarastro in a charming production of The Magic Flute in Modena, Italy, under Claudio Abbado, which was recorded for CD and DVD. He also filmed the parts of both Sarastro and The Speaker for Kenneth Branagh’s English version of The Magic Flute, a film to be released in 2007. Pape appeared at the 2006 Salzburg Festival as Sarastro.
Mr. Pape made his debut at Bayreuth under Levine in 1994 as Fasolt in Das Rheingold; at London‘s Royal Opera Covent Garden as King Henry in Lohengrin in 1997 under Valery Gergiev; at the Opйra National de Paris under James Conlon as King Mark in Tristan in 1998; and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Die Meistersinger’s Pogner under Christian Thielemann in 1999. He has sung at France’s Orange Festival, at Glyndebourne, at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and with the touring Metropolitan Opera in Japan. He was one of a quartet of singers handpicked by James Levine to participate in a “Schubertiade” at New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2004.
Rene Pape recorded his first solo CD for Deutsche Grammophon when a childhood friend, Dresden composer Torsten Rasch, hand-picked him for Mein Herz brennt, a song-cycle based on works by the industrial rock group Rammstein. Pape has recorded numerous other complete operas, many available on DVD, and sings his signature role – King Mark in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde – on an EMI Classics CD starring Placido Domingo.
Mr. Pape received his musical education in Dresden as a member of the world-famous Kreuzchor, and at the Dresden Conservatory. Sir Georg Solti invited him to sing Sarastro in a new production of The Magic Flute at the 1995 Salzburg Festival, where Pape first attained international status. Musical America named him its 2001 Singer of the Year, and this year he is one of five leading figures in the world of opera honored by the Opera News Awards.
Rene Pape official website www.renepape.com