Artist Of The Week: Wilhelm Schwinghammer

By Francisco Salazar

Over the past years, Wilhelm Schwinghammer has increasingly become one of the most in-demand Strauss and Wagner singers of his generation. He has performed some of the greatest roles from each composer with some of the greatest companies, including the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Washington National Opera, Salzburg Festival, Hamburg State Opera, Bayreuth Festival, and Teatro alla Scala.

This week, the German bass is set to make his Canadian Opera Company debut in one of his signature roles. Schwinghammer will bring his acclaimed Orest to the company’s “Elektra,” a role he has performed several times and that he feels strongly about. In a recent interview for OperaWire, the bass noted that the biggest challenge for him is to give the character a “really convincing characterization in a short time.” And indeed with only one scene, Schwinghammer will get a big opportunity to show just how he can explore such a complex and vengeful character.

But for those who are not in Canada, the bass will return to the Hamburg State Opera for “Fidelio” later this year and will also be at the Bayreuth Festival this summer for “Tannhäuser,” ‘Parsifal,” and “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.”


For those not familiar with the bass’ voice, Schwinghammer has a recording of Strauss’ “Feuersnot” for CPO and is also featured on a recording of Mendelssohn’s Sacred Choral Works for Brilliant Classics.

Here is a clip of the bass performing Mozart’s “Die Entführung aus dem Serail”


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