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.
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.
Fritz Hofmann shared this Hörzu article about the family’s vacation to Tenerife in the 1980’s:
When I Sing, I Must Be in Top Shape!
Star tenor takes a holiday with wife Deborah Sasson on Tenerife, Hörzu’s Chief reporter Karin von Faber visits with him.
I meet Peter Hofmann at the swimming pool where a fountain splashes. He gently shakes the splash of warm water from his jeans. At 43, Hofmann says “This is the best time for a Wagner singer.”
Between two Meistersinger performances, he is taking a little holiday in Tenerife at the fitness center, Mar y Sol, deep in the south of the island where the dry air is like no where else and is perfect medicine for the bronchial tubes. Brother Fritz, his manager, and wife Deborah Sasson (33), dancer and singer from Boston, are with him. READ MORE in PRESS.
When I received this wonderfully evocative photo from Fritz Hofmann, it took me back thirty years to the time I was covering the Metropolitan Opera for several international opera magazines, and among some of the most exciting evenings I experienced were with Peter Hofmann on stage – as Siegmund and as Lohengrin. (An excerpt from my Opéra International from November 5, 1986, review is filed in PRESS.) In that decade, he virtually owned those roles, along with that of Parsifal and Stolzing, and he sang them often in New York, in Washington, D.C., at Bayreuth, and in all the world’s great opera houses. Sadly, so few of these performances have been preserved on video, because Peter was truly a cinematic presence as a singing-actor. The three that remain (the Chéreau Walküre, the Bayreuth Lohengrin, and the Met Lohengrin) still stir the heart in watching and listening to them!
Peter Hofmann would have been 71 on August 22, 2015. Remembering his brother and the great singer, Fritz Hofmann shares another chapter from Marieluise Müller’s book Singen ist wie fliegen. The author traces the explosion of press fascination with Hofmann from the beginning of the 1980s. READ MORE here.
This month’s update features a review of Peter Hofmann’s 1978 Lohengrin from Munich. READ MORE in PRESS.
We also wish to announce that in the future we will be updating the site every two months on the first of the month, so look for new photos and news then!
Peter Hofmann: A Homecoming of a Special Kind : Der Neue Tag presents the star in Weiden to an enthusiastic crowd
Inge Roegner Der Neue Tag, Weiden, April 1993: Peter Hofmann as Siegmund in Bayreuth 1976. 1991 as Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg and now on Friday, April 2 in the Weiden Mehrzweckhalle as a leading rock star. Such a far-reaching career arc! And for some fans of classical opera the path of the world famous tenor may be hard to comprehend. Nevertheless,in the virtually sold out house the enthusiastic Western rider, who has occupied many a different saddle, has proved his point. The star and darling of the ladies (the audience was primarily female) ensured, together with a super band and dazzling technical effects, acoustic, and lighting, a fabulous visual and acoustic experience, presented by Der Neue Tag. Read More in PRESS.
Fritz Hofmann has contributed ten new photos of his brother to the Photo Galleries, including some amusing private shots of Peter Hofmann atop the Paris Opera, filming a television episode while on African safari in Namibia, and clowning with a toy swan at Schönreuth, as well as some new opera and pop stage photos. These rare glimpses of Peter offer a delightful look at the many facets of his personality as an artist and a man. New press clippings have been added this month as well.