Sunday, December 14, 2003

Sometimes you read something, a description of a life, that makes you feel the loss deeply of someone you never knew existed. I had that experience reading Anne Midgette's obituary for the German Bass-Baritone Hans Hotter.
He came to music only slowly, though, and initially studied organ, with an eye to training as a conductor, until his music teacher got him a hearing with Matthias Römer, a singer who had studied with the great tenor Jean de Reszke and sung Parsifal at Bayreuth. Römer was immediately convinced of the potential of Mr. Hotter's voice, but it took a lot of persuading to get the young man "to leave music aside and become an opera singer," as Mr. Hotter later put it.

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