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!
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!
We continue to receive tributes to Peter Hofmann’s memory and the unforgettable 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.
As 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.
This month we add to Peter Hofmann’s Private Photo Gallery two images from Fritz Hofmann’s archive. (Click here.) The first shows their mother Inge standing front of the lovely house in Marienbad where Peter was born and the second depicts Fritz and Peter as boys. Enjoy!
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.
It 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
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!
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!