Fritz Hofmann shares another chapter from his book, Peter Hofmann Tales of a Singer’s Adventures – this one about the making of the film about the life of Wagner starring Richard Burton in which Peter Hofmann played the role of Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, the first Tristan. And Fritz Hofmann, unexpectedly got to make his screen debut as the butler!
Richard Wagner – The Film
After my return from France, where I had been working at the opera and concert artists’ agency, in the Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré in the heart of Paris, in 1980 I took up, at my brother’s request, the exclusive management of Peter’s career. I returned to Germany and was now working for my brother from Bayreuth. Just after I had begun my “term of office,” an interesting film offer crossed my desk.
The life of Richard Wagner was to be made into a film for which the production company had already engaged some international actors. Richard Burton was to play Richard Wagner; Wagner’s wife Cosima was to be portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave; Sir Laurence Olivier was undertaking the role of one of Ludwig II’s ministers, and the movie was to be shot in over two hundred European locations. In 1984 not long after the completion of the film in 1983, Richard Burton died. He reminded us, in this his last great role, what a magnificent actor he was. The Englishman Tony Palmer directed; he had already made countless films with classical and pop music legends – for example, he produced the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love.
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