As this calendar from 1989 attests, Peter Hofmann was not only a magnificent singer, but he was also a charismatic presence on stage. Named THE operatic heartthrob of the year in 1989, Peter not only cut a dashing presence in his roles, but he also brought cinematic acting skills to his parts. His Siegmund in the Bayreuth Centennial RING remains the gold standard for the role to this day!
August 22, 2017 BR4 Klassik
Here is the link to the BR4 Klassik article and web site with audio and video clips in tribute to Peter Hofmann on what would have been his 73rd birthday, August 22, 2017.
Not only classical music fans know him. So do rock and popmusic, music and opera lovers. Peter Hofmann was multi-talented like no other singer. He was world famous as a former decathlon champion and parachute trooper; as Siegmund in the Bayreuth Centennial Ring before he made headlines as the Phantom of the opera.
No wonder Sieglinde took such an athlete and hero to heart. Peter Hofmann played Siegmund, the son of the Wälsungs, more as an athlete than a boyish creature of nature. With his radiant presence and charisma, his moving singing and intelligent handling of the text, the blonde singer fascinated especially the ladies in the audiences of the Bayreuth Festival from 1976- 1989.
An Ideal Wagner Interpreter: Blond Hair, Athletic Stature, Charisma
After his debut as Siegmund in the Centennial Ring directed by Patrice Chéreau, there followed performances as Lohengrin and Parsifal in productions by Götz friedrich. Leonard Bernstein chose the tenor for his Tristan recording with the Bavarian radio Symphony Orchestra. After engagements in Wuppertal and Stuttgart, Peter Hofmann quickly came to grace the major opera stages of the world from London to Vienna, Paris, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
I am always transported by music, especially when someone is singing.
Between Classical and Popular Music
But he also remained an adventurer. In huge concert halls, Peter Hofmann undertook to perform “U-music” (popular, entertaining music); he sang international rock hits, German language songs, and Elvis Presley titles. Similarly, he achieved a huge success in the title role of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, playing more than 300 performances. No one could speak of him as a one-sided performer; Peter Hofmann thought and sang outside the box!
What’s Happening Today
Our program, What’s Happening Today, which is devoted to noteworthy musical achievements in music history, can be heard at 8:30 and 2:40 on BR Klassik Radio or by podcast subscription.
On August 22, 2017, Peter Hofmann would have celebrated his 73rd birthday. The great tenor remains sorely missed by all who loved and admired him – his fans and his family, especially his brother Fritz with whom he shared so many adventures in his career. After serving as his brother’s manager and confidant for virtually all of Peter’s career, Fritz Hofmann continues to devote his energies to preserving his brother’s legacy and loves to share photos from his private collection such as this one of Peter Hofmann filming in South Africa.
August is the month of the Bayreuth Festival, a place where Peter Hofmann celebrated many of his operatic triumphs. As this year’s Parsifal unfolds, let us all remember Peter’s Parsifals on the Green Hill and in so many theaters worldwide, among them at Salzburg Easter Festival with Herbert von Karajan and at the Met with James Levine – fortunately preserved on disc and video.
Immer in unseren Gedanken, lieber Peter! Ever in our thoughts, dear Peter!
Fritz Hofmann shares two memories from his archives:
and the other of Peter Hofmann on a pop tour with New York City singer Nikki Gregoroff. Click here to view all the photo galleries.
The Peter Hofmann Room in the Stadtbücherei Kemnath continues to offer a place where admirers of the tenor can come to pay their respects and enjoy memorabilia from his exciting career. Fritz Hofmann supplied this latest photo of the room, as well as several new photographs of Peter as Lohengrin and Peter in Berlin for the 750th anniversary celebration. Check them out here in the gallery.
Fritz Hofmann tells this story about his and Peter’s visit to Dresden in the days of the DDR.
During our tour of the DDR, we made a stop in Dresden where the enthusiastic public celebrated Peter’s visit and embraced him heartily. At this time very few artists made appearances in the DDR. On no terms were they to make any political statements; otherwise the concert would eventually be aborted. In those days one was very nervous when visiting the socialist DDR.
Despite this, Peter permitted himself to make a little remark at the beginning of the concert, “Welcome to the valley of the clueless people.” These were the words with which he greeted his public who responded with spontaneous applause. You have to understand that in the divided Germany, people in East Germany liked watching West German television when they could get it by satellite.
Dresden, however, lay in a valley where television reception was not possible, and people here could only watch the rather boring and very one-sided East German programs. [Freedom of the press and speech did not exist at this time.]
When we spoke to people, we found that they were grateful for any new things because they lived almost completely isolated from the outside world. This was true even in as wonderful and beautiful a city as Dresden with its great cultural history.
Exciting news for those who read German!! Fritz Hofmann’s hardcover memoir of his brother Peter, is now available as an ebook/Kindle edition on amazon.de – Click this link to order or contact the publisher directly. For details on the new ebook, visit this page or click this link.
Fritz Hofmann describes in colorful anecdotes in an amusing manner the adventures the two brothers shared on their many travels together.
We continue to receive tributes to Peter Hofmann’s memory and the unforgettable way in which he impacted the music world and the hearts of so many friends and fans. An excerpt from a recent comment from Artie Matz sums up a great many of these letters: For me he was a trail blazer and a pathfinder because he did not follow the traditional path of an opera singer. He was the first true crossover artist. I first came to know him in Lohengrin, Walküre and was a fan of Phantom of the Opera. Peter Hofmann broadened my musical horizons. Read entire tribute here.
Continuing the crossover theme of these memories, Fritz Hofmann has added some photos from Bayreuth to the classical gallery and a lovely shot of Peter at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Click here for Photos.
Peter Hofmann would have been 72 years old on August 22, 2016. To remember this remarkable artist, we have added several new photographs as well as Midou Grossman’s appreciation. READ here.
To be sure, Peter Hofmann is not forgotten, especially at Bayreuth. On August 6, 2016, Friedon Rosen in Der Neue Merker wrote of the opening of Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival:
We have Schager! Perhaps the best Parsifal since Peter Hofmann. . .
At Bayreuth the Austrian Heldentenor Andreas Schager substituted for Klaus Florian Vogt. It was a debut filled with potential…. He recalled the days f the 70s and 80s with the legendary Waltraud Meier as Kundry and Peter Hofmann as Parsifal.