Fritz Hofmann Listed on German Literary Site

 

 

Fritz Hofmann’s profile has been included on the German-language literary site, Autorenprofile.de.  Check out his page.

 

http://www.autorenprofile.de/autoren-von-a-z/hofmann-fritz/

 

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Wolfgang Palm Remembers Peter Hofmann as Lohengrin

LohengrinBayreuth has unfortunately lost a great deal of its earlier fascination. That anyone even thought of Mr. Alagna for the role of Lohengrin demonstrates once again that Bayreuth is predicated now more on creating a sensation. This idea was the brainchild of Thielmann, who has already conducted the work everywhere with Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohengrin – a tenor who in the 40s, 50s,60s,70s,80s,90s of the last century at best would have been singing roles in a regional opera chorus. Now Bayreuth is wringing its hands in searching for a replacement for Alagna. And while there are a dozen solid tenors in the world capable of the role, it seems that today Lohengrin is no longer cast with a Heldentenor but rather with a lyric tenor. So they have decided on, “oh hehres Wunder,” Mr. Beczala who has done the role with Thielemann in Dresden and is surely a solid choice.

But no one today can match the form of Peter Hofmann. They all lack so much that I have long ago given up on this. It is important to note that every era has its exceptional singers, but today this top class is in short supply. Fritz [Hofmann] will agree with me when I say that in Germany in the 1940s-1980s there were numerous tenors who were true Heldentenors- like Hans Hopf, Max Lorenz, Ludwig Suthaus, Bernd Aldenhoff, Hans Beirer, Wolfgang Windgassen (though he was a bit of a lyric) and in the USA singers like Jess Thomas, Jean Cox, James King, Claude Heather and these are just a few. As I wrote in my homage to Peter Hofmann, he was for me the last true Heldentenor. Everything that is happening today in this dying Fach is not at all satisfying. There are voices, but one seldom is allowed to hear them. (Wolfgang Palm to Fritz Hofmann, July 2018)

And here is Mr. Palm’s original German text:

Bayreuth hat sehr viel von seiner einstigen Faszination verloren, leider…Dass man Herrn Alagna diese Rolle des Lohengrin zuletzt zugedacht hatte zeigt einmal mehr, dass man in Bayreuth nunmehr auch auf vermeintliche Sensationen setzt…Diese Idee entsprang dem Hirnschiss von Thielemann, der ja auch allerorten mit dem Tenorbuffo Klaus Florian Vogt den Lohengrin dirigiert hat, einem Tenor, der in den 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90ern des letzten Jahrhunderts bestenfalls eine Rolle in einem städtischen Opernchor bekommen hätte…Nun suchte man “händeringend” nach einem Ersatz für Alagna, wobei es weltweit dutzende solide Tenöre für diese Rolle gäbe, zumal man ja heute ohnehin den Lohengrin nicht mehr mit einem wahren Heldentenor besetzt, sondern mit einem lyrischen…Also findet man, “oh hehres Wunder”, Herrn Beczala, der hat es ja mit Thielemann in Dresden gemacht und ist sicher eine solide Wahl…Aber keiner kann heutzutage an das Format von Peter Hofmann heranreichen, da fehlt allen so ziemlich alles, ich habe mich diesbezüglich schon früher ausgelassen…Wohlgemerkt: jede Zeit hat ihre Ausnahmesänger, bzw hatte sie…Heutzutage ist diese Apostrophierung Mangelware…Fritz wird mir recht geben wenn ich sage, dass es in Deutschland in den 40-80ern zahlreiche Tenöre gab, die “in ihrer Zeit” echte Heldentenöre waren, so gab es Hans Hopf, Max Lorenz, Ludwig Suthaus, Bernd Aldenhoff, Hans Beirer, Wolfgang Windgassen (der war aber schon eher lyrisch), von den Sängern aus den USA wie Jess Thomas, Jean Cox, James King, Claude Heather u.v.a. rede ich schon gar nicht…Wie ich in meiner Hommage an Peter Hofmann schrieb, so war er für mich der letzte wahre Heldentenor…Alles was heute wirkt, ist für dieses ausgestorbene Fach unbefriedigend…Wobei: Stimmen gäbe es … Aber die lässt man selten zu…

Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android Mobiltelefon mit WEB.DE Mail gesendet.

Birthplace – Peter Hofmann – Marienbad

Fritz Hofmann writes about the realization of his dream: to create a memory plaque on Peter Hofmann’s birthplace:

For quite some time already, I have had the idea of creating a memory plaque on the house where my brother was born. The implementation and realization of this idea was more difficult than I had imagined. The house, which stands in the middle of Marienbad in the Goethe Platz, is today the Hotel Belvedere (www.hotel-belvedere.cz )and is considered one of the most beautiful houses in Marienbad. On March 16 using the framework of a little opening ceremony, we were finally able to place the brass memory plaque on the entrance to the house.

We were welcomed most cordially and toasted with a glass of champagne. My heartfelt thanks to those who made this lovely project possible and my very special thank you to Mr. Torsten Schlegel for his unwavering commitment.   For further information go to www.marianske-lazne.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only a few steps away from Peters birthplace you will find the beautiful museum of the city built in 1818. The famous German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe lived here during his several visits. Today the museum mounts many exhibitions, and in one of many beautiful historic rooms you will find Peters portrait under the picture of composer Richard Wagner, who visited and admired Marienbad very much.
Everybody who may have the chance to make a trip to Marienbad will understand why not only the famous and rich people in this time came to visit this wonderful romantic city.
The Museum ist definitely a must to see: www.muzeum-ml.cz
Thanks to Mr. Jaromir Bartos, the director of the museum for his support.
 

 

Peter Hofmann: A Once in a Century Voice for the Ages

Singer, artist agent, friend, and colleague, Wolfgang  A. Palm Remembers Peter Hofmann

In the summer of 1978 during the course of their opera festival days, a then young man experienced a thought provoking performance of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Bavarian State Opera. On the podium was Wolfgang Sawallisch; Theo Adam sang Wotan, Ingrid Bjoner was Brünnhilde; Kurt Moll was Hunding, and Leonie Rysanek was Sieglinde. These names were known to the young man from recordings, but the name of the singer who played Siegmund was not familiar. This would change after that night in 1978 when the young man experienced such a powerful performance by Heldentenor Peter Hofmann. The reader can guess that the 18 year-old operagoer was I, so this little reminiscence comes from an autobiographical context. After that performance the tenor Peter Hofmann would play a very special role in my artistic life because shortly after this time I began to study singing at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH AND IN GERMAN HERE.

 

Peter Hofmann Changed the Face of Opera

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!

BR4 Klassik Remembers Peter Hofmann on His Birthday

Peter Hofmann: Opera Singer & Rock Musician

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.

https://www.br-klassik.de/themen/klassik-entdecken/peter-hofmann-geboren-was-heute-geschah-1944-100.html

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.

Remembering Peter Hofmann on His 73rd Birthday

 

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!

Peter Hofmann Room in Kemnath Continues Tribute to Singer

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.

 

The Valley of the Clueless People

Fritz Hofmann tells this story about his and Peter’s visit to Dresden in the days of the DDR.

dresden-a

Peter in Front of the Semper Oper Dresden

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.