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René Pape



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

In the 2013/14 Season German bass René Pape sings Gurnemanz (Parsifal), a role he has sung around the world to immense acclaim. 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) 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 but has also developed a strong relationship with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and has sung in over 190 performances in New York and on tour 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.


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