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Vienna Opera Tenor Waldemar Kmentt Dead at 85

By Jaime Prisco j.prisco@classicalite.com on Jan 26, 2015 10:20 PM EST

Famed Austrian tenor Waldemar Kmentt, known for his legendary Vienna Opera's and beautiful vocal recording work, has died in Austria at the age of 85, according to ABC News.

Kmentt was born in Vienna, where he performed 1,480 times at the Vienna State Opera alone. The legend made his debut in 1950, singing the tenor part in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, according to Gramophone. In 1951, he made his stage debut at the Vienna State Opera as the Prince in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges. He was known for portraying the popular roles of Tamino in The Magic Flute, Jenik in The Bartered Bride and the title role in The Tales of Hoffmann. Though his focus was on the German repertoire, he did occasionally sing in Italian.

Though he was known for his Vienna performances, he also performed La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and opera houses in Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

According to the Associated Press, State Opera Director Dominique Meyer praised Kmentt's "unforgettable voice and great personality" and said his death deprived his opera company of a "member of the family.”

Besides his live performances, he was featured on a number of recordings, including Moralt and Solti Salome (as Narraboth) and on Solti's Tristan und Isolde (as the Young Sailor). He also recorded a number of operettas, including The Merry Widow, Giuditta, Die Fledermaus, Der Graf von Luxenbourg and Der Zarewitsch.

When Kmnett was not performing, he was a dedicated teacher at his alma mater, the Vienna Music Academy.

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TagsAustrian, Tenor, Waldemar Kmentt, Dead, Vienna

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