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HERMANN PREY

Prey grew up in the era of Germany’s Third Reich and would have been drafted into the army had not World War II ended just in time. Having studied singing at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik with Gunther Baum and Jaro Prohaska, he won a singing competition organised by Hesse radio in Frankfurt in 1952, the year in which he also gave his first professional song recital, and made his operatic debut in 1953 at Wiesbaden as Monuccio / Tiefland.

In the same year Prey joined the Hamburg State Opera, where he remained a member until 1960, singing in that year’s premiere of Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg. He also began to appear at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and (from 1956) at the Vienna State Opera. He first sang in 1959 at both the Bavarian State Opera, Munich and at the Salzburg Festival as Schneidebart / Die schweigsame Frau. Prey returned to both centres frequently: at Salzburg he sang Guglielmo / Così fan tutte (1960– 1965, 1972–1977), Papageno / Die Zauberflöte (1967–1968,1970, 1974) and the Count / Le nozze di Figaro (1971) as well as giving numerous concerts and recitals. Roles at the Bayreuth Festival included Wolfram / Tannhäuser (1965–1967) and later Beckmesser / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1981–1984 and 1986).

At the Metropolitan Opera, New York Prey first appeared in 1960 as Wolfram. Again, he returned frequently: for example as the Count (Figaro) (1964, 1972), Papageno (1967), Figaro / Il barbiere di Siviglia (1973), the Music Master / Ariadne auf Naxos (1987, 1994), Eisenstein / Die Fledermaus (1989–1990, 1994–1995) and Beckmesser (1993, 1995). He also appeared with the San Francisco Opera in 1963 and with the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1971.

In 1965 Prey had sung Storch / Intermezzo with the Munich Opera in the first British performances of that opera at the Edinburgh Festival, but his debut at the Royal Opera House, London came only in 1973, as Rossini’s Figaro. Later roles at Covent Garden included Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro (1977), Eisenstein (1977, 1978, 1979, 1983–1984), Guglielmo (1979), Papageno (1983) and Beckmesser (1990).

Prey appeared widely as a guest artist at such venues as the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires; the Aix-en-Provence Festival (Don Giovanni, 1962); the Bregenz Festival; Florence (Beckmesser, 1986); Frankfurt; Stuttgart, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg and Wiesbaden. Acclaimed equally as a recitalist as for his operatic appearances, Prey gave his first recital in America in 1956, continuing to sing in concert there right to the end of his career; and was also popular as a lieder singer in Japan.

Although Prey had sung Verdi parts in his early years, he later concentrated on Mozart and Strauss: Olivier / Capriccio (Hamburg 1957), Harlequin / Ariadne auf Naxos (Munich 1960) and Storch (Munich 1960). He also frequently appeared in the lighter genres of Spieloper and operetta as well as on television shows, which made him extremely popular in Germany.

From 1982 Prey taught at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik. As late as 1997 he sang the Speaker / Die Zauberflöte at the Salzburg Festival and died of a heart attack just a few days after giving a concert in Munich.

Especially successful in music that required a comic touch, Prey possessed a lyric baritone voice of great warmth, with complete dynamic control.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Singers, Naxos 8.558097-100).


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Artist | Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
150 SCHONSTEN VOLKSLIEDER (DIE) Capriccio
C7106
Vocal, Choral - Secular, Vocal
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Lieder (Coburn, Prey) Capriccio
C10343-45
Vocal, Choral - Secular
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Lieder, Vol. 1 (Coburn, Prey, Hokanson, Heinrich Schutz Kreis, Matkowitz) Capriole
CA18379
Vocal
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Lieder, Vol. 2 (Coburn, Prey, Hokanson) Capriole
CA18380
Vocal
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Songs (Complete) (Coburn, Prey) Capriccio
C5140
Vocal, Choral - Secular
BRAHMS, J.: 49 Deutsche Volkslieder (Coburn, Prey) Capriccio
C5018
Vocal
BRAHMS, J.: Deutsches Requiem (Ein) / MOZART, W.A.: Serenata Notturna (Cologne Radio Symphony, Klemperer) (1954, 1956) ICA Classics
ICAC5002
Choral - Sacred
Choral Music - BORTNIANSKY, D. / SCHUBERT, F. / BRUCKNER, A. / BRUCH, M. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / SILCHER, F. / RHEINBERGER, J.G. Capriccio
C67136-38
Opera
Choral Music (German) - SCHUMANN, R. / SILCHER, F. / GLUCK, F. / FRANZ, R. / LYRA, J.W. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / FESCA, F.E. / BRAHMS, J. / SCHULZ, J.A. Capriccio
C49302
Vocal
CHRISTMAS FESTIVE CONCERT - BACH, J.S. / HANDEL, G.F. / PRAETORIUS, M. / MANFREDINI, F.O. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / GABRIELI, G. Capriccio
C49310
Vocal
CHRISTMAS SONGS (Krippenlieder) Capriccio
C10763
Vocal
CLASSIC MASTERWORKS - Richard Wagner Capriccio
C49034
Opera
CLASSIC MOODS - VERDI, G. / PUCCINI, G. / MASSENET, J. / GOUNOD, C.-F. / BIZET, G. / SAINT-SAENS / WAGNER, R. / OFFENBACH, J. Capriccio
C18410
Opera
CORNELIUS, P.: Barber of Bagdad (The) (Schwarzkopf, Gedda, Leinsdorf) (1956) / WEBER, C.M.: Abu Hassan (Schwarzkopf, Witte, Ludwig) (1944) Naxos Historical
8.111337-38
Opera
GERMAN FOLK SONGS - ZOLLNER, C.F. / REICHARDT, J.F. / BRAHMS, J. / SCHUBERT, F. / ZUCCALMAGLIO, A.W.F. von / KUHLAU, F. Capriccio
C49303
Vocal
GLUCK, C.W.: Iphigenia auf Tauris [Opera] (Keilberth) Capriccio
C5005
Opera
GOLDEN 20's (THE) (Brock, Edelhagen, Kowalski, Prey) Capriccio
C49227-6
Vocal
Great Singers Live (6 CD Box Set) BR-Klassik
900309
Opera, Vocal, Opera, Vocal, Musicals, Opera
Great Singers Live: Prey, Hermann BR-Klassik
900307
Opera, Vocal, Opera, Vocal, Musicals, Opera
HERMANN PREY EDITION (5-CD Box Set) Capriccio
C7202
Opera, Vocal, Operetta, Opera, Vocal, Opera, Vocal, Opera, Operetta, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Opera, Vocal, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Operetta, Vocal
JOSE CARRERAS COLLECTION (Int'l Edition) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101415
Classical Concert
JOSE CARRERAS COLLECTION: Bolshoi Opera Night (A) (1989) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101409
Classical Concert
KREUTZER, C.: Nachtlager in Granada (Das) [Opera] Capriccio
C60029-2
Opera
LOEWE, C.: Vocal Music (Prey, Endres) Capriccio
C10759
Vocal
MIDNIGHT LOUNGE - Chill Out Classics and Meditation Capriccio
C49326
Opera, Choral - Secular
MOZART (A HOMAGE) - 250 YEAR CELEBRATION, Vol. 5 (Opera Gala) Capriccio
C49519
Opera
MOZART, W.A.: Opera Gala Capriccio
C51096
Opera
MOZART, W.A.: Zauberflote (Die) / Idomeneo [Opera] (Highlights) Capriole
CA18400
Opera
NESSLER, V.: Trompeter von Sackingen (Der) [Opera] Capriccio
C60055-2
Opera
NESSLER, V.: Trompeter von Säckingen (Der) [Opera] (Prey, Hawlata, Späth, Hagen, Cologne West German Radio Chorus and Orchestra, Froschauer) Capriccio
C5187
Opera
PRAETORIUS, M.: Quem pastores laudavere / BACH, J.S.: In dulci Jubilo / ECCARD, J.: Ubers Gebirg Maria geht (Flamig, Stier) Capriccio
C10062
Vocal
SCHUBERT, F.: Song Cycles - Die Schone Mullerin / Schwanengesang / Winterreise (Prey, Hokanson, Deutsch) (NTSC) C Major
700208
Classical Concert
SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101135
Classical Concert
SPRING PARADE Capriccio
C49364
Operetta, Choral - Secular
STRAUSS II, J.: Zigeunerbaron (Der) (The Gypsy Baron) (Schwarzkopf, Gedda, Ackermann) (1954) Naxos Historical
8.111329-30
Operetta
STRAUSS, R: Ariadne auf Naxos (Schwarzkopf, Streich, Karajan) (1954) Naxos Historical
8.111033-34
Opera
Vocal Music (Ballads and Songs) - SCHUBERT, F. / WOLF, H. / LOEWE, C. / LOEFFLER, C.M. / MAHLER, G. / MENDELSSOHN, Felix / REUTTER, H. / LISZT, F. Capriccio
C67103
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Prey, Hermann - LINCKE, P. / KOLLO, W. / GILBERT, J. / KUNNEKE, E. / TEICH, O. / SIEG, F. (Ich sing mein schonstes Lied) Capriccio
C10289
Operetta, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Choral - Secular, Vocal, Choral - Secular, Vocal

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Lyricist 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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