Artist Profile: Walter Berry, A Spectacular Bass-Baritone

By David Salazar

Austrian bass-baritone Walter Berry was born on April 8, 1929 and would go on to a strong and recognized career.

He studied at the Vienna Music Academy and made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1947, becoming a permanent member of the company three years later.

In 1952, he debuted at the Salzburg Festival, another organization with which he would become associated for much of his career; he would perform over 100 roles with the festival.

He would reach the Metropolitan Opera in the 1960s and also ample appearances in London. In addition to his work in opera, Berry enjoyed engaging with operetta and also performed lieder quite often.

He died in 2000 at the age of 71.

Signature Roles

Berry was recognized for his work in the German repertory, particularly many operas that he recorded alongside his wife Christa Ludwig. Among his finest and most beloved interpretations are those of “Bluebeard’s Castle,” “Die Frau Ohn Schatten,” and “Der Rosenkavalier.”

He also performed a number of Mozart’s great operas to much acclaim, including “Don Giovanni,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and “Die Zauberflöte.”

Watch and Listen

Check out the famed recording of “Bluebeard’s Castle.”

Check out a wider range of repertory here.


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