Obituary: Heldentenor Peter Svensson Dies At 57 of COVID-19

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: © /Quentin Driftwood)

On July 29, 2021, Austrian heldentenor Peter Svensson died at the age of 57 due to COVID-19 complications.

Svensson was born on June 2, 1964 in Vienna, Austria, and began his singing career as a soloist with the Vienna Boys’ Choir. After graduating from high school, he studied at the Vienna Music High School and graduated from the Conservatory and at the University of Music in Vienna.

Svensson received his first contracts between 1989 and 1991 at the Wiener Staatsoper as a student. The young tenor’s breakthrough came soon after in the title role of Wagner’s “Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen” at the Prague State Opera in 1991.

He went on to appear at the Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Hamburg, and Oper Köln, among others. The heldentenor also participated at the biggest opera festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, Weinviertler Festspiele, and Wexford, among others.

His roles included the title roles in Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” “Tannhäuser,” “Lohengrin,” and “Parsifal,” Canio in Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” Des Grieux in “Manon Lescaut,” and Hermann in “Queen of Spades,” among others.

Here he is singing “Tristan und Isolde” in Vienna.