Opera For Beginners

Artist Profile: Tom Krause, Bass-Baritone Fluent in 7 Languages

Finnish bass-baritone Tom Krause enjoyed a varied career that saw him transition from singing on all the major stages to teaching and judging at all the great artistic institutions.

He actually intended on becoming a psychiatrist, but ultimately followed his interest in music by studying voice at the Vienna Music Academy.

He made his operatic debut in Berlin in 1959 and his career rocketed. From there, Krause, who was fluent in seven languages (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Finnish), appeared regularly at such festivals in Bayreuth, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Savonlinna, and Tanglewood. He also performed with such companies as the Hamburg State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Orchestre National de France, among others.

During the 1980s, he turned to teaching throughout the US and Europe, giving masterclasses and serving as a Jury Member at a number of vocal competitions.

He also won a number of Awards for his famed recordings including the  Edison Prize, the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize and the Gramophone Prize, among others. He was also awarded Order of the Finnish Lion from his country and was given the title of “Kammersänger” in Hamburg.

He passed away in 2013.

Major Roles

The bass-baritone was renowned for his work in the operas of Mozart, particularly, as the Count Almaviva in “Le Nozze di Figaro.” He famously received a massive ovation at the Met when taking on this role in his debut. He also performed the title role of “Don Giovanni” as well as Guglielmo in “Così Fan Tutte.”

Watch and Listen

Here is a masterclass with the bass.

And here he is in “Le Nozze di Figaro.”


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