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!

Ongoing Remembrances

peter-hofmann
We continue to receive tributes to Peter Hofmann’s memory and the indelible 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.

Fritz Hofmann Shares New Story

Schwert Nothung 1As summer rolls around, invariably, thoughts turn to Bayreuth where Peter Hofmann enjoyed so many of his career successes. Fritz Hofmann shares this new excerpt from his book about a joke the cast of Die Walküre played on Peter during rehearsals for the Ring cycle.  The accompanying illustration is a lovely oil painting done by one of Peter’s fans.  You can read the chapter (# 11) here.

The Hofmanns on Tenerife in the 1980’s

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.

Mar Y Sol - Kopie

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.

 

In Memoriam Inge Hofmann- Weber

Inge wohnziIt is with deepest sorrow that Fritz Hofmann  would like to share the news of the passing of his and Peter’s beloved mother Inge at the age of ninety-two. She was a much cherished presence in her sons’ lives and will be deeply missed. Fritz writes:

Liebste Mutter Inge,

Unendlich einsam ist’s ohne Dich geworden. Vieles wollt ich Dir noch sagen, doch der Schmerz hat mich fast gelähmt. Meine Gedanken sind jedoch immer bei Dir. Unvergesslich wunderbar Dein Lächeln, das uns für ewig in Erinnerung bleiben wird. Niemals hast du Deinen einzigartigen Humor und Deine Poesie verloren. Dein freundliches, hilfsbereites Wesen ist unvergesslich. Du wirst in meinem Herzen immer weiterleben.  Dein Sohn, Fritz

(It has become endlessly lonely without you. There is so much more I want to say to you, but the sorrow has made it almost impossible. My thoughts are always with you. Your smile was unforgettably wonderful and will remain with us forever. Never did you lose your  your unique sense of humor or your poetry. Your friendly, helpful presence is unforgettable. You will live on forever in my heart.)

Other friends have posted condolences and tributes on Fritz’ Facebook page. Among them is this beautiful tribute from soprano Anna Maria Kaufmann and from Sony exeutive Jochen Leuschner:

My deepest sympathy goes to Fritz Hofmann, brother and manager of the late Peter Hofmann for the loss of his most charming beautiful wonderful mother!!!!
May she rest in peace in heaven with her son Peter Hofmann! 

Much love always,  Anna Maria Kaufmann

Fritz rief mich an, um mir die traurige Nachricht vom Tod seiner Mutter zu überbringen. Mutter Inge wurde 92 Jahre alt. Ich kannte sie fast fünfzig Jahre. Sie war ein lebensfroher und starker Mensch. Ihren Sinn für Humor hat sie jeden Tag in ihrer Familie vorgelebt. Sie hat die großen Erfolge Ihres Sohnes Peter stets mit Dankbarkeit und Demut begleitet und hat auch in den schweren Jahren, die von Peters Krankheit geprägt waren, niemals Ihre Haltung und Ihren Respekt vor dem Leben verloren.
Die Hofmanns, mit denen ich viele Jahre großer Erfolge, großer Erinnerungen und unvergesslicher Momente verbinde, sind immer eine besondere Familie für mich gewesen. Der spezielle Humor von Inge und ihren beiden Söhnen hat auch mich geprägt.
Ich wünsche ihrer Familie und den Angehörigen Kraft bei Ihrer Trauerarbeit und wünsche mir, dass Inges Optimismus, Lebensfreude und Stärke in der Zukunft durch ihren Sohn Fritz weiter strahlt und vielen Menschen Freude und Hoffnung vermittelt. -Jochen Leuschner
(Your mother Inge was ninety-two. I knew her almost fifty years. She was strong and full of life; she shared her her sense of humor every day with her family. She accompanied her son Peter in his huge success with gratitude and humility, and in the difficult years of Peter’s illness, she never lost her positive attitude or respect for life. I have ties to the Hofmanns , having shared with them huge successes, great memories, unforgettable moments. They were a very special family for me, especially Inge’s unique sense of humor and that of her sons. I wish the family strength in their mourning and wish Inge’s optimism, strength,  and love of life to continue to shine in the future through her son Fritz and will give joy and hope to many.)

 

 

Peter Hofmann at the Met

Peter METWhen 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!

Honoring Peter Hofmann’s 70th Birthday

File_028Peter Hofmann would have been 70 years old on August 22, 2014.  It is hard to believe almost a quarter of a century has passed since my husband and I last saw Peter on stage in Hamburg. In the decade before we had the thrill of hearing and seeing him in New York, Washington D.C., and Bayreuth and of talking with him numerous times while working on my Heldentenor book.  These are artistic – and personal – memories I shall always cherish. I am forever grateful, too, for the recordings and the videos, and to Fritz for all his unstinting efforts to to keep alive the legacy of his art.