Although I grew up in a musical family, studied piano at the university, taught piano and have always been involved in leading musical groups or singing in them, I was a late-comer to opera. From the very first opera I saw—Lakme—I was hooked. Since then, I have immersed myself into opera locally and regionally. A few years ago, I visited the MET and enjoyed several performances with some well known artists. I have over the past few years relished every opportunity to observe or listen to my favorite operas and artists.
However, things changed for me the day I heard a heldentenor named Peter Hofmann performing as Lohengrin at the MET! What an incredible voice! I was deeply moved not only by his beautiful, rich sound, but also he was indeed Lohengrin. He wasn’t just “acting” the part, he WAS Lohengrin! He instantly became my favorite artist of all time. It was clear to me that God had blessed Peter in a special way.
I have subsequently listened to many others of his recordings and watched much of what’s available on YouTube, be it singles or concerts. I only wish I could have been in those audiences to witness his live performances. What a bundle of energy!
When I learned that Peter was leaving the opera scene and moving into rock and pop music, I was intrigued, and wondered whether he could do this successfully. He was obviously a master of both opera and rock. His Rock Classics album is my very favorite—I listen to it every day.
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Peter, and all I know about him as a person and a performer is what I have read or seen from postings on the internet and YouTube.
My observations are that he was, from a young age, his own person, strong in his beliefs and yes, even strong-willed, but very positive and a force to be reckoned with. Nevertheless he was a gentle giant and concerned more about others than himself. To me, he seemed to be a take-charge person, extremely confident in what he would do and where he would go.
I have a DVD of Lohengrin and love watching the curtain call following the performance. The artists come out individually to receive the audience’s adulation and applause. All the artists come in proper and polite decorum, some showing signs of relief that it’s all over, but Peter comes with quick steps and with high energy, as though the action is just about to begin! What a delight!
I was deeply saddened to learn of his battle with Parkinson’s and his subsequent passing away at such a young age.
I am thankful for his brother Fritz who stood by him, assisting him as his manager, planning and carrying out all of his gigs and later staying at his side, helping with his care – a great example of Godly and brotherly love. I’m also grateful for his keeping Peter’s memory alive.
The Bible speaks only of men as angels (sorry, ladies). When I get to Heaven, I’ll be looking for a special Angel named Peter Hofmann. I hope he will sing for all of us there!