German tenor Peter Hofmann, as comfortable singing Wagner as Webber, dies at 66
Peter Hofmann, the German tenor whose handsome looks and vibrant vocalism made him one of the most sought-after Wagnerian artists of his day, died Tuesday in Bavaria at the age of 66. According to news reports, he had been in the hospital with pneumonia; he also had Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Hofmann did not have a long operatic career, but his peak period, from the mid-'70s into the '80s, included triumphant performances of heroic roles in Wagner operas. The tenor's rugged good looks made him seem doubly effective in that repertoire. He was equally at home in rock music, an early love that he never abandoned. He also made his mark in the title role of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" in a German-language production during the early '90s.
Mr. Hofmann, whose much-too-early death follows a distressingly long list of musical obituaries in 2010, left an admirable mark on the opera world. Here's an example, from an acclaimed as Siegmund in a 1980 performance of "Die Walkure" at Bayreuth: