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René Pape

Bass

Biography

René Pape in action.
René Pape in Parsifal, The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2013

German bass René Pape made his Royal Opera debut in February 1997, singing Pope Pius IV (Palestrina) and Heinrich I (Lohengrin) in parallel runs. He has since sung Count Massimiliano (I masnadieri) and Méphistophélès (Faust) and Gurnemanz (Parsifal) for The Royal Opera.

Pape was born in Dresden in 1964 and sang with the city’s illustrious Kreuzchor from 1974 to 1981. He went on to train at the Dresden Conservatory and in 1988 made his professional debut at the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden while still a student. He continues to sing regularly with the Berlin State Opera, while singing regularly with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, where he has sung in over 190 performances with the Company since his debut in 1995. His repertory includes all the major Wagner bass-baritone roles, Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Philip II (Don Carlo) and Boris Godunov.

Pape first came to international prominence following his performances as Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) at the Salzburg Festival under Georg Solti, who championed Pape throughout his early career. In addition to his extensive operatic repertory Pape is a devoted recitalist, and has released several award-winning solo discs through Deutsche Grammophon. In 2006 he made his film debut as Sarastro in Kenneth Branagh’s The Magic Flute.

Videos

News and features

Parsifal available to buy on DVD

Parsifal available to buy on DVD

18 December 2014

Stephen Langridge's Royal Opera production of Wagner’s final opera, starring Simon O'Neill, Angela Denoke, René Pape and Gerald Finley.

Recommended recordings: July 2014

Recommended recordings: July 2014

3 July 2014

This month the focus falls on new recordings of Elektra and Orlando, as well as a collection of arias inspired by legendary Assyrian queen Semiramis.

Recommended Recordings: March 2014

Recommended Recordings: March 2014

10 March 2014

March sees an exceptional release from Juan Diego Flórez and two brilliant Jonas Kaufmann recordings.

Your reaction: Parsifal

Your reaction: Parsifal

1 December 2013

What did you think of Stephen Langridge's production of Wagner's final masterpiece?

Gallery: Parsifal in rehearsal

Gallery: Parsifal in rehearsal

22 November 2013

A glimpse of Stephen Langridge's new Royal Opera production before curtain up.

Photos